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Google Hangouts for Video Conferencing

Google Hangouts Icon

What is Google Hangouts and what does it do?

Google Hangouts is Google’s unified communications service that allows members to initiate and participate in text, voice, or video chats. Sessions may be one-on-one or in a group up to a maximum of 25.

Who can use Google Hangouts?

By default, Hangouts associated with an enterprise Google account (such as Georgia Southern and Armstrong) limit participants to organization members only. That setting, however, can be changed when setting up the Hangout so that people outside of one organization can invite individuals from outside to join.

For example, if an Armstrong organization member wanted to include a Georgia Southern member, the Hangout can be set to allow participants from outside of the Armstrong organization. Once that is done, an invitation may be sent to up to 25 individuals from inside as well as outside of the Armstrong organization.

Where can I find Google Hangouts?

Hangouts is available on the web and is built in to GMail, Google Inbox, Google+, and Chrome as an extension. It’s also available as an app in both iOS and Android.

What preparation is necessary for using Hangouts?

Before joining a video Hangout, it’s best to make sure that your video camera and audio hardware is set up and working properly. If you have any questions about the set up and operational readiness of your computer, camera, and audio hardware, please contact your department’s Technical Support Specialist for assistance.

We recommend the use of a headset with headphones and a boom microphone or a pair of earphones and a desktop microphone for best operation. Using desktop speakers in close proximity to a microphone may cause feedback and an unacceptable echo for everyone on the video call.

Your computer’s software needs to be configured to include the latest Google Hangouts plugin. You will need to contact the Service Desk at 912-478-2287 or your department’s Technical Support Specialist to have this installed.

Google has a Hangouts tutorial in the G Suite Learning Center.

How can I use Hangouts?

While there are several routes to take to create or join a Hangout, Hangouts on the web makes it simple.

Here is a general outline for using Hangouts on the Web

  1. Go to
  2. If you are not already signed in to your University account, click “Sign In” in the upper right corner of the browser window.
  3. People in your contact list will appear on the left of the browser window.
  4. In the center of the browser window, directly below the greeting, are three icons: Video Call, Phone Call, and Message.
  5. To initiate or join a video conference, click “Video Call.”
  6. The next screen is the video call screen. If you are initiating a Hangout, give your video call a name. Please note: it’s a best practice to name Hangouts with meaningful names that reflect the subject of the Hangout.
    If you received an invitation to join a Hangout, enter the name in this space.
    If you have a scheduled event in your calendar, it will appear just under the “Enter a Hangout Name” box. You may click the name of the event to join the Hangout for that event.
  7. Once the hangout is running and you’re connected to others, you may converse just as if you’re face-to-face with them in person.
  8. Participants may open a group chat by clicking the top-most icon on the left side of the Hangout.
  9. Hangout participants may also share their computer screens with each other by clicking the green screen share icon (second from the top on the left).

Google Calendar

If you set up an event in Google Calendar, you may associate a Hangout with the event. Calendar creates, by default, a video Hangout with the same name as your event automatically whenever you create an event (this default behavior can be changed in Calendar settings). Event organizers may change the name of the Hangout to whatever name they choose. The default is the the event name. Calendar event attendees may click on “Join Meeting” in the Calendar event details to connect to other meeting attendees.

Last updated: 2/15/2017