Google’s Hangouts group video-chat on Google+ continues to be the social network’s most compelling feature. Today, Google is opening up the Hangouts On Air feature to all users, allowing them to broadcast their video chat sessions for the world to see.
Google first debuted the live-streaming feature last year, but it was only available to select performers and celebrities. President Obama and the Dalai Lama both used the feature to stream live video chats, which proved that Google+ Hangouts feature was robust enough to take on live-streaming mainstays like Ustream and Livestream.
You can make any Google+ Hangout live by clicking the “Enable Hangouts On Air” button, and it will then be accessible from your Google+ stream, your YouTube page, or your website (if you’ve embedded the stream). You’ll be able to see how many people are tuning into your live broadcast, and Google will also place a copy of your live Hangout session in your YouTube account for posterity.
Google says the feature will be rolled out over the next few weeks (I currently don’t see it in my Hangouts options). The company recently introduced a slew of new Hangouts apps and games, including Google Effects, which lets you add wacky accessories to your video like fake glasses and facial hair.