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Google+ Hangout users can now make free phone calls

by Steven Williamson on 2 December 2011, 13:03

Tags: Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabab5

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Google has rolled-out a new feature for its Google+ service, allowing US and Canadian users to make phone calls from within its Hangouts space.

Hangouts currently enable up to ten Google+ users to meet up and use voice and video chat to communicate. The new service now allows users to make external phone calls and host conference calls, even to people who aren’t signed up to Google+.

Revealed by Google employee Jarkko Oikarinen, the inventor of the first Internet Relay Chat, the update is available via a plugin from the Hangouts with Extras page on the social and business networking site.



"Today we’re making it possible to make phone calls from inside a hangout, so you can dial people into the room from wherever they’re at (Helpful for party lines and conference calls alike)," he said in a Google+ post, confirming that the service works when you dial any phone.

Google is expecting an influx of new members now that the service has launched and hopes that companies, who may currently be using Skype for meetings, will jump across to use the Google+ service.

The new feature is expected to be available in Europe over the coming weeks, though we're still waiting for confirmation from Google.


HEXUS Forums :: 7 Comments

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"Google is expecting an influx of new members now that the service has launched and hopes that companies, who may currently be using Skype for meetings, will jump across to use the Google+ service".

This kind of mentality is, in my opinion, Google's biggest problem.

Are Google really expecting millions of users to stop using a service (that works perfectly well) only to migrate to another service that does, essentially, exactly the same thing?

It's the same story with Google+ in general, when compared against Facebook. What exactly are you offering that compels a billion people to ditch Facebook?

Stop offering mirror alternatives and expecting them to magically be adopted as the new de-facto standard, Google. Even Microsoft have wised up to showing a *bit* more creative innovation these days.
AlexKitch
Are Google really expecting millions of users to stop using a service (that works perfectly well) only to migrate to another service that does, essentially, exactly the same thing?
Well put - and don't forget that there's other similar services, not just Skype. While el Megacorp might be happy to have teleconferences done over the public phone network (mobile or fixed) I've found that there's a resistance to doing the same thing with VOIP. So Google are onto a loser unless they're also planning to sell Google+ infrastructure (VOIP in a box?).
AlexKitch
It's the same story with Google+ in general, when compared against Facebook. What exactly are you offering that compels a billion people to ditch Facebook?
From what I've seen (as a G+ signup, but never had Farcebook) less adverts for one … yes, I didn't believe that myself. Was looking over my daughter's shoulder the other day and I was staggered on how much advertising was being pushed.
I've also found that G+'s social features (those “circles”) seem better thought through than FB's. But I'm quite happy to be told I'm wrong - especially since, as stated before, I don't have an FB account.

Is it just me being crabby, but does Google+ seem a bit of a “me too” product - one who's sole purpose is just to tick boxes … “social media - got that; VOIP - got that; etc”?
I read it as “Google+ Hangover” for some reason!! I was like - WTF??
CAT-THE-FIFTH
I read it as “Google+ Hangover” for some reason!! I was like - WTF??

That's where you wake up after a particularly heavy drinking session and gone “oh sugar, what social network have I just joined??”
CAT-THE-FIFTH
I read it as “Google+ Hangover” for some reason!! I was like - WTF??

Me too :(