Many of us have suddenly found ourselves working from home and hosting virtual meetings, meet-ups, and even life celebrations these days. While there are tons of fantastic video options to choose from, one might already exist in your inbox—that video chat platform is called Google Hangouts. Today, we want to dive into how to use Google Hangouts for video calls and discuss some of its key features.
What Is Google Hangouts?
Google Hangouts is a video call program that is automatically given to each Google email subscriber for free. It is a place where you can chat with coworkers, customers, and even friends through the text (or instant message-like) interface, or take a video call.
This platform is incredibly useful when you find yourself working from home. Instead of sending an email to your coworker, you can send over a direct message, it will pop up in the bottom left corner of their email inbox, and they can send over a quick reply. The messaging option is perfect for quick asks, like, “Hey, have you responded to our client yet?” or, “Would you mind sending me the PDF you’ve been working on?” In the Hangouts messaging platform, you can share files, photos, videos, and even drawings. What’s more, you can also create groups of people to chat with. So, if you, your assistant, and your marketing director need to update each other on some initiatives, just hit that plus button and add everyone into the chat. All of your messages will be in one orderly place for your convenience.
Trying The Video Chat
But our favorite tool in Google Hangouts goes far and above the messaging feature. You can use Google Hangouts for video conferencing. Open your chat window with the person you want to conference, and click the video camera icon. In doing so, you will initiate a call to your coworker. Once in the call, you can share your screen, message back and forth with the chat feature, and much more. This is especially helpful if, for some reason, you have your audio turned off, or you need to send a file over that is pertinent to the call.
How To Send Google Hangouts Invites
- First, go to hangouts.google.com
- Next, hit start a video call
- Then, copy the call information and send it to your team
- Your team should then follow the link and join in on the call
Google Hangouts Features
Google Hangouts has tons of features that could be helpful for your team. You can make phone calls, send files, create chat rooms, message coworkers, send video messages, get on video calls, and much more.
How Much Does It Cost?
It’s free! As long as the “Organizer” (the person initiating a call) has a google email, they can invite whoever they want to join in on the conversation. This application was previously only given to those with Google accounts, but now that they have let up on this rule, we can be free to have hangouts with any of our clients and coworkers.
We chose to highlight Google Hangouts because of its usability and zero-dollar price tag. But, we are not affiliated in any way. If you want to try a different platform or have any advice for us as it relates to video calls, send us a message! We would love to learn more about the best ways to navigate our new virtual lives while working from home. If you have tips for staying free from distractions, giving yourself breaks, at-home workouts, or anything else that is helpful to the WFH community, we want to hear from you!
We are in this together!