Google has quietly announced that it will be pulling the plug on Google+ Hangouts on Air. The service won’t be available from September 12 onwards. After September 11, Google users will be instead asked to use YouTube Live.
Hangouts on Air was announced as livestreaming feature for group video calls on Google+ in September 2011. The service was rolled out to select celebrities before being made available to all its users in May 2012. Google also announced YouTube Live in May 2013, which eventually reached more and more users.
It seems Google has decided to merge the two livestreaming platforms into one. The Google support page confirms that users won’t be able to schedule a new Hangouts on Air via Google+ and existing events scheduled to happen after September 12 will be moved to YouTube Live.
The VentureBeat confirms that Hangouts on Air will exist in some form but won’t be tied to Google+. Recently, Google removed Google+ login from posting reviews on Google Play.
For those curious, here is how to setup Hangouts on Air with YouTube Live:
1. Go to Live Streaming Events in Creator Studio.
2. Click New live event.
3. Select Quick (using Google Hangouts On Air).
4. Give your live stream a title.
5. Click Go live now or enter in details to schedule your event for later.
6. Use Hangouts to broadcast live.
Live streaming is the latest trend among social media platforms with Facebook Live and Periscope being the most popular services among celebrities. With unified approach, Google might make its YouTube Live more useful and approachable than before. It also helps that YouTube Live is more in line with Twitch for those interested in broadcasting gaming events.