​Google Plus' Hangouts On Air moved to YouTube Live

Want to broadcast your Google Hangouts meeting or performance? Better make it fast. Google is shutting down that functionality and moving it to YouTube Live.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Google doesn't love Google+ anymore. One of the social network's last exclusive features was Google Hangouts on Air. This gave you the power to broadcast your Google Hangouts.

YouTube Video Manager

Google 's easy-to-use Hangouts On Air video broadcast is being replaced by the more difficult to use YouTube Live. (Image: ZDNet)

Alas, Google is moving Hangouts On Air from Google+ to YouTube Live on September 12. After that date, you will not be able to schedule Hangouts On Air on Google+. Already have one scheduled? You'll need to move it to YouTube Live.

At least you will still continue to have access to your recorded event on YouTube. Google+ will also continue to have your event content available in read-only format in the Activity Log.

If you want to broadcast an impromptu meeting with YouTube Live, you'll need to take the following steps:

First, go to Live Streaming Events in Creator Studio.

  1. Click New live event.
  2. Select Quick (using Google Hangouts On Air).
  3. Give your live stream a title.
  4. Click Go live now or enter in details to schedule your event for later.
  5. Use Hangouts to broadcast live.

This is still a beta program, so don't count on it working well.

If you want to schedule an event, you need to follow the YouTube Live support instructions.

Either way, you can control who sees your broadcast:

  • Public - Anyone can see and access the event.
  • Unlisted - The event isn't shown publicly but anyone with a link can join. This is identical to the previous Google+ Hangouts On Air setting.
  • Private - Only people you specifically invite can join the event. You can share the event with a domain, group, or individual.

In addition, you'll need to set up a local live-streaming encoder. This alone makes streaming with YouTube Live much more complicated.

More advanced Google+ Hangouts On Air functions will no longer be supported. These include Q&A, Showcase, and Applause.

I find this a disappointing move. Besides being a die-hard Google+ user, the Google+ version of Hangouts on Air was more interactive with viewers than the YouTube version. Oh well. It's gone now. I hope that Google will add these missing features to Google On Air with YouTube Live soon.

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