The story of Google+ Hangouts begins with Google Talk, a competitor to Skype and other Voice-Over-Internet Services. As technology developed, Google experimented with a variety of web-based collaborative systems, including Google Docs, their free alernative to Microsoft Office, and the innovative Google Wave.
Google Wave brought live conversation to the online collaboration experience. People could work on a document together, share their screen, watch videos, and create artwork together. It was a chance to create preserved documentation of their real-time collaboration.
Promoted as the “replacement for email” and “the future of online collaboration,” while it had the tools Google assumed people wanted, it didn’t meet expectations. Many lessons were learned by Google and the tech community from the failure, including how not to over-hype expectations for your product, how not to launch prematurely, and don’t expect people to know what to do with it when they finally gain access.
Google took the knocks and lessons learned from Google Wave, Google Buzz, and Google Docs and applied them to the successful Google+ social media network, which incorporates all of the Google products into one umbrella platform, including the collaborative tool called Google+ Hangouts.
Google+ and Google+ Hangouts are now revolutionizing the world of online communication, especially for the educational industry. Continue reading