Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has announced the impending replacement of Google Video Chats with Google+ Hangouts, a change that will see users access more features that were absent in the Gmail chat platform. Google’s video chat was launched in 2008, but the coming of Google+ created an unavoidable shift from the mail based chat, to the social platform notes Tech Crunch.
The marquee group video chat tool will now be in a good position to compete with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Skype, which recently partnered with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) in enabling chat between online Facebook friends and online Skype connections.
According to Google, the new Google+ hangouts will enable users to “utilize the power of Google’s network to deliver higher reliability and enhanced quality” ,and will also allow them to reach people on other platforms apart from Gmail “if they are on Google+ in the browser, or on their Android or iOS devices,” notes the report.
Google+ Hangouts will allow users to chat with up to 9 users simultaneously, as well as collaborate on Google Docs and share their screens, Additionally, there will also be a pool of fun effects, which users are at liberty to try, although, all the users must have Google+ accounts in order to enjoy all these features. This will require users to install a plugin, as is the case with video chats.
This is yet another of Google’s latest upgrades, after it transformed its Google Docs to Google Drive, which enables users to share documents, folders, images, and videos among others.
Tech Crunch also notes that ever since its launch, Google+’s killer feature has always been, “The Hangouts”, and now it will be revealed whether this perception is anything to go by, as the users put it to the test. The roll-out is set to begin today, with a complete launch set to be done in a few weeks.
The company is no doubt looking to continue popularizing its social platform, Google+, at a time when social networking wars are likely to intensify with the rumored Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Twitter deal at the back of Google’s mind.
Nonetheless, the ever present challenge of monetization remains at the helm of every social networking platform, and while Google+ may claim to have over 250 million users, it is unclear how effective it has been in translating this into profits.
At the time of this writing, the company’s stock was trading at approximately $632 per share, $2.93 down, which was a decline of 0.45%.