Google today quietly announced that Google+ Hangouts On Air will no longer be available on September 12. Four weeks from now, Google users will be asked to use YouTube Live instead.
Google first debuted the livestreaming feature for its Hangouts group video chat on Google+ back in September 2011, though it was only available to select performers and celebrities. Google started making Hangouts On Air available to all its users in May 2012, and completed the rollout a month later. But then in May 2013, Google debuted YouTube Live, which also gradually became available to more and more users.
Now Google has finally decided to consolidate the two. After September 12, you won’t be able to schedule a new Hangouts On Air via Google+. Existing events scheduled to happen after September 12 will also have to be moved to YouTube Live.
To be clear, Hangouts On Air will still exist in some form, it just won’t be tied to Google+. Hangouts On Air users are being forced to use YouTube Live’s built-in events scheduling feature instead.
To use Hangouts On Air with YouTube Live, follow these steps:
- Go to Live Streaming Events in Creator Studio.
- Click New live event.
- Select Quick (using Google Hangouts On Air).
- Give your live stream a title.
- Click Go live now or enter in details to schedule your event for later.
- Use Hangouts to broadcast live.
Recorded events will continue to be available on YouTube. The only remaining Google+ link will be the option to see your event content (read-only format) in the Activity Log.
Google began dropping its Google+ requirement across all its products in July 2015. That process is still ongoing.
Last week, the Google Play store started dropping the Google+ account requirement when leaving a review. Next month, it’s Hangouts On Air users who will no longer have to — or even be able to — use Google+.