Google Hangout vs Skype Video Call
Google very recently came up with their own social network, Google+, which is supposed to be a direct competitor of Facebook (which is the most popular online social network with over 750+ million users worldwide). Skype is the most widely used video calling software in the world today. However, the video chat features offered by Google+, Google+ Hangout is believed to attract many users due to its group chatting ability. Some believe that after some time, Skype will loose majority of its users to Google+ Hangout. However, Skype has taken a step towards competing with Google+ Hangout for its place by partnering with Facebook (just after few days of the announcement of Google Hangout), and offering Skype-powered video calls (Facebook Video Chat) within Facebook as a browser-based free service.
What is Skype Video Call?
Skype is software application that allows users to make video calls (called Skype Video Calls) to each other over the internet. Users can also make PC-to-phone calls. In order to make a Video Call, a user must install the Skype client software on their computer and must register (create a free Skype account). Registered Skype users can make calls to other registered Skype users who are also running the client on their computers. Skype Video Calls between two people are free. But if you want to have a Skype Video Call between multiple users (videoconferencing), then you have to become premium users, for which you have to pay a fee. There are many mobile applications that support access to Skype on mobile phones.
What is Google Hangout?
Google+ Hangout is a video calling feature, which offers group chat capability. It is free for all the Facebook users. Up to 10 people are able to join a single Hangout group chat session. Google has developed this in such a way that the video stream is automatically focused on to the person currently talking. Depending on the features it provides, this is ideal for a group chat with friends or a serious team call at the office. But it may not be ideal for one-on-one video chats due to the slightly complex setup and steps involved (such as sending invites). Instead, Google video call feature can be used for one-to-one video chats (which works very similar to Skype and Facebook video calls). Google have not developed a mobile application for Google+ Hangout yet.
What is the difference between Google Hangout and Skype Video Call?
Google+ Hangout offers free group video chat. Although, Skype Video Call can be used to call multiple people at once (videoconference), it is a paid service. Another advantage of Google+ Hangout is that it allows users to use the video chat feature without installing a software client like Skype (Google+ Hangout only requires you to install a small plug-in at the very first time you make a call). Although a Skype Video call is a private one-time event, a Google+ Hangout is more of a continuous process. Google+ Hangouts are displayed on the feeds of the circles that it is open to and any person in those circles can get in or go out of the Hangout. One feature of Google+ Hangout that makes it stand out is that (unlike Skype Video Call) its main window automatically displays the person who is currently talking. Furthermore, YouTube videos can be watched together with your Hangout members (this is not possible in Skype). Unlike Skype, Google+ Hangout Chat does not run on mobile phones yet.