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When to Use Google+ Hangout or Google+ Hangout on Air

Google+ Hangouts can be handy tools for social marketers if they are used correctly. It is important to understand which type of Hangout will work best to achieve your goals. Hangouts come in the following two flavors:

  • Hangouts: Typical Hangouts allow for up to ten participants at a time, including the host. Anyone who doesn’t make it in has to wait until someone leaves in order to view the Hangout. They can’t view the Hangout, but they can see the comments. Those who don’t make it in have to continue trying until someone leaves.

  • Hangouts on Air: This variety of Hangout allows ten people to participate at a time, but an unlimited amount of people can watch the action. As with the traditional Hangout, as soon as a participant leaves the room, the next in line can take his place.

Many people who host Hangouts and Hangouts on Air choose to set Hangout for Extended Circles rather than Public. Many times when they set up a public Hangout, disruptive people come out of the woodwork and interrupt the Hangout or act rude.

Also, Hangouts on Air are recorded to YouTube so you can still share the video with anyone who couldn’t make the live recording. This gives you the opportunity to share this content with people for years to come. If you don’t already have an account with YouTube, it’s a good idea to set one up before starting your Hangout.

Hangouts on Air weren’t always available to everyone. Until mid-2012, only select power users were able to take advantage of this feature. The rest of the Google+ community held basic Hangouts. Now you have choices, but most people choose a Hangout on Air over a Hangout because more people can watch and participate.

Whether you need a Hangout as opposed to a Hangout on Air is up to you. You can make both options as public or private as you like. If you don’t want to record your Hangout and want an intimate session, it’s better to use a Hangout. Hangouts on Air are perfect for having a large group discussion that you can record to share with the rest of your community.

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