Google+ Hangout vs Google Talk
Have you ever tried to compare a ten year old car with a brand new car and find out what’s better? Obviously it’d be irrational to determine the old card is better, and we can safely assume that it wouldn’t stand a chance either. However, when you look at the bigger picture, has the objective of the car changed? Has the basic usage scenario of the car changed? The answer would be no because the objective of the car would be to let people travel, and the basic usage scenario of the car is to go from point A to point B. However, the way car does that and the additional perks the car offers has changed significantly during the last ten years. It is the same situation with the two utilities we are going to talk about today. Google Talk will be the ten year old car while Google+ Hangout is the brand new car. Both offer functionalities to attain the same purpose, but they offer them in different ways and different conditional scenarios. Let us talk about them individually and compare them against each other to identify their usage scenarios.
There was a large hype in the internet community when Google+ was launched, and it was well backed up since Google+ recorded a remarkable growth as a Social Media Network. However, at the start, Google+ was somewhat complex to use and hence it lose some of its consumers to Facebook. As usual, Google learnt from their mistakes and kept improving it, and Google+ Hangouts are an anchor they have found to sink other rival Social Media Networks.
Hangout is essentially Google Talk in a new skin. First off, you don’t need to install a client to use Google+ Hangouts. With the WebRTC framework, one can use Google+ Hangouts right from the browser in your Google+ home page. The basic functionality of Hangouts is to let you video chat with your friends and contacts in your list. It is offered in your PC as well as an application in your tablet. You can video chat with up to ten people, and which make it a video conferencing service. It is worthwhile to mention that Video conferencing services are still considered as premium services, which you need to pay, so Google+ Hangout is letting you use that service for free. Another interesting feature in Hangouts is that you get various applications that make fun to be in your hangout. For instance, it has masks, ability to draw doodles, watch YouTube videos or play games etc.
Another interesting usage of Google+ Hangout is to collaborate with your co-workers. On top of video conferencing, Google+ Hangouts also provides you with the ability to share what’s on your screen, view presentations and diagrams together as well as edit Google docs together. You can also call your friends through telephones and get them in for the conference for free or for a very low price. I have particularly come to be fond of the broadcasting facility provided by Google+ Hangouts. You can start a hangout and indicate that you want it to be broadcasted on air which streams the live hangout on your profile enabling the public to view it freely. Statistics are also provided on how many live viewers were available during the broadcast. Once it is finished, the recorded video is uploaded to your YouTube channel and a link is sent to the original post in your Google+ profile. I’m sure you will find this feature fantastic and really worthwhile if you have a lot of fans out there.
Google Talk is essentially Google’s IM client that can be used to chat, audio call and video call among your contacts. It has been around for a long time now and only supports Windows as a platform. You can quickly share your thoughts with IMs and also feature status updates through Google Talk. It also allows you to transfer files from peer to peer. It is the only client providing voice chats among Google contacts, and it also has audio conferencing facility. My favorite part about Google Talk is that it integrates seamlessly with Gmail where you get to talk with your friends inside the mail window.
We’ve been looking at Google Talk as an application or a chat client that needs to be installed, but it is also a service that is integrated with Gmail and hence in that platform, it enables users to chat, audio call as well as video call right from their browser window where Gmail is opened. The only catch is that you have to install plugins in order for this to work. However, Google doesn’t seem to promote this valuable application further and instead it seems that they are going to integrate it with Google+ Hangouts.
A Brief Comparison Between Google Talk and Google+ Hangouts
• Google Talk is a client that can be used to chat and make audio calls while Google+ Hangouts is an in-browser application offering various interactions beyond mere video chatting.
• Google Talk can be used inside Gmail while Google+ Hangouts can be used inside your Google+ profile.
• Google Talk is simple to use and offers limited service while Google+ Hangouts offer a variety of services ranging from video conferences, to live collaborations and live broadcasts.
Google’s indication to integrate Google Talk and Google+ Hangouts conclude this discussion on behalf of me. Google Talk is certainly a nifty and widely used tool, but Google+ Hangouts offers a wide selection of perks, in addition to the simple services provided by Google Talk. Hence it may be wiser to choose Hangouts and coexist it with Google Talk whenever the need arises. After all, both are offered as free services, so there won’t be any opportunity cost in keeping both.