Google Launches Hangouts on Air Worldwide; Hasn’t Given Up On Google+

by Trefis Team
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Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) launched its Google+ social network last year to compete with the social networking juggernaut Facebook. Though it saw quite a bit of traction initially, usage has dropped off since many of its users are inactive and engagement levels remain much lower than that of Facebook, which continues to see very high levels of user activity. Google+ launched with some very compelling features like Hangouts and Circles, most of which were incorporated by Facebook in some way or another. However, Hangouts is still one of the biggest draws to Google+, being one of the best multi-user video calling services. Facebook rolled out Video Chat powered by Skype last year, but it supports only one-on-one calls. Google+ Hangouts also offer broadcast and content sharing features, which Facebook doesn’t.

Public Video Broadcasting Feature of Hangouts on Air Only on Google+, Not on Facebook.

Google continues to add additional features to Hangout. In March, it enabled Hangout users to call any phone through Hangouts. This week, it rolled out Hangouts on Air, a feature which enables users to broadcast their hangouts publicly to anyone through their Google+ streams, YouTube channels or websites. It also offers features which enable users to see the number of viewers and other detailed analytics and record and re-share their hangouts publicly. [1]

If Google is able to continually roll out features that Facebook doesn’t offer, it may be able to gradually attract a significant user base and generate increasing amounts of advertising revenue from Google+. The social data gathered from Google+ could also help it improve its core search experience and generate more revenue from advertising by offering better targeting features.

Search and display advertising account for more than 75% of Google’s total $678 Trefis price estimate, which stands 10% above its market price.

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Notes:
  1. Google+ Hangouts On Air: broadcast your conversation to the world, Google Blog []
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