Google Plus – Understanding Hangouts

Part 3 in a series designed to help the Google Plus beginner.

HangoutsWhat is a Hangout?

We all need a place to come together and chat – everyone needs a hangout. It’s almost impossible to think of a single sitcom where the cast of characters doesn’t have some kind of hangout. In Saved By The Bell, Zack Morris and the gang hung out at The Max. In Fraiser, the hangout was Fraiser’s apartment, and in Seinfeld there was the always charming RESTAURANT. Everyone loves a good hangout, so why should they be absent for social networks?

So, for example, if you post “I really like connecting on Google+” to the public, everyone who has you in one of their circles can see it. But, f you only post it to your “Friends” circle only the people you’ve placed in your “Friends circle” will be able to read it.

The reverse is also true. Let’s say you really don’t want to see all of the travel pictures from your Brother. You just read your Friends circle’ stream of messages instead of your Family circle’s stream.

There are a few ways you can start a hangout:

  • Go to and click the Start a Hangout button on the top right side of your screen.
  • Click the Hangouts icon underneath an interesting post on your Home page to start a hangout about the post.
  • Click the Hangouts icon  on the left side of the page and click Start a hangout under the ‘HANGOUT INVITE’ section.
  • You can also start a hangout and send and receive hangout invites from other Google properties including:
    • Google Chat properties
    • Google Calendar

You’ll be taken to an invite screen where you’ll be able to:

  1. Make sure you’re mic and camera are working correctly by looking at your video feed at the bottom of the page. You should be able to see yourself in the video feed, and when you talk, you should see a green bar appear at the bottom of your video.
  2. Invite entire circles or specific individuals to join you in your hangout.
  3. Restrict people under the age of 18 from joining your hangout by clicking Hangout Options and selecting the checkbox next to Restrict minors from joining this hangout. Other hangout participants won’t be able to invite minors and, the 18+ restriction cannot be changed once the hangout has started.

1 Comment

  1. I’m overwhelmed with social media. I started a Google plus account but haven’t touched it. I’m just struggling to keep up with Twitter and Facebook. Thanks for the tips. Maybe one day:)

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