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Google+ Hangouts, the group video chat feature that lets friends talk face-to-face online, is adding another trick up its sleeve – live streaming YouTube. This new feature lets up to ten people watch YouTube live streams together.

Currently, it is possible to use live feeds with hangouts, but only through the following 5-step process.

  1. Start a Hangout session and invite friends.
  2. Visit YouTube’s live stream page and select a feed.
  3. Copy the YouTube video I.D. of the stream.
  4. Search for the I.D. in the Hangouts video tab.
  5. Once the stream is found, click play.

This is cumbersome, and is not how Google intends for the feature to be used in the future. Instead, live streams will be added to Hangout’s existing YouTube tab.

Eventually, this functionality will be added to live stream Livestream: A Free Video Streaming Host To Share Your Live Video Feed Livestream: A Free Video Streaming Host To Share Your Live Video Feed Read More pages as well, allowing users to join a Hangout that is specific to a stream. This would make it possible to share a link with friends and watch with them through YouTube itself, rather than starting a Hangout and inviting friends one-by-one.

Google still has a lot of work to do on Hangouts and its integration with YouTube. Better filtering will be needed to make sure Hangouts centered on videos don’t become excessively distracting, and the ten person limit is also a potential issue, though there are ways to work around it. Still, this is a promising and unique feature that will hopefully become an asset to Google+.

Source: Gigaom

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