Google Hangouts allows you to video chat, voice call and text chat with your friends for free.
Group chats can accommodate up to 150 people; and video calls can connect up to 25 people.
You can also send photos, videos, maps, emojis, stickers and animated GIFS. Google Hangouts is compatible across desktop, iPhone and Android, and it can be accessed through a number of ways, including Gmail.
How to open Google Hangouts in Gmail
1. Go to gmail.com and log into your account.
2. Click on the “Hangouts” icon, which is represented by a quotation mark at the bottom left of the screen.
3. You’ll be signed into Google Hangouts. To begin a new conversation, click on the “+” sign. To begin a chat, type in the person’s name or email address. You can also start a new hangout group by clicking on “New Group” and then typing in multiple email addresses.
4. A chat window will open up, where you can begin typing your message. From here, you can also begin a video chat by clicking on the video icon; or a phone call by clicking on the phone icon. You can also start a group chat from here, by clicking on the plus sign.
You can use Google Hangouts internationally to connect with others abroad, but it may cost a fee
If you’re looking for a way to call your friends and family overseas and are a fan of Google products, you can actually use Google Hangouts to get it done.
It’s important to note, however, that if you make a call outside of the US on the platform, you will have to pay a fee, which varies depending on the country.
Additionally, although international calls are possible with Google Hangouts, not all locations are available.
That said, here’s how to use Google Hangouts internationally.
How to use Google Hangouts internationally
1. Go to hangouts.google.com.
2. Click into the “PHONE CALL” tab.
3. Select the desired contact, or search for them using their phone number (be sure to include the country code) and then hit “Call [number].”
Keep in mind that the dollar figure you see next to the calling option is not how much it would cost. It is how much you have left in your calling credit. You can easily buy additional calling credit by going to your calling credit page and selecting “Add Credit.”
How to record a Google Hangouts session to watch it later or share it with others
Google Hangouts is a tool that can help connect teams or companies through text chats and video meetings. And when it comes to sharing vital information, recording those meetings can be a valuable tool to add to your arsenal.
Recording a Google Hangouts meeting is great for people who can’t attend the meeting when it happens. Once it’s recorded, you can send out a link to those who weren’t able to attend the meeting, and thus be sure everyone knows what’s going on.
Before you get started, you should be aware that the ability to record a Google Hangout is only available in the G Suite Enterprise and G Suite Enterprise Education editions, which are paid subscription services.
How to search your Google Hangouts chats to find key words or messages
On a PC or Mac computer, there are two ways to search through your past Hangouts messages.
First, in the search bar at the top of your Gmail page, enter the term “label:chats” and then type in a word or term you know was used in the chat in question. (Think “great movie” for example.)
When you’re hosting a video chat, sometimes it’s useful or easier to simply let the other person see your screen, or a specific window you’re viewing, like a presentation.
Rather than having to explain something, which may be difficult to put into words, you can provide a visual that makes it easier to understand.
If you’re using Google Hangouts, there’s an easy fix that is built into the program itself.
Here’s how to use it:
Once you’re in a Hangout, it’s relatively easy to share your screen, and the process should only take you a few seconds to complete:
1. Click the three dots in the top-right corner of the screen.
2. Select “Share Screen.”
3. Click on how you want to share your screen — you can either share the entire screen, which is the default option, or you can toggle over to the application window section of the pop-up to select individual windows to share with video participants.
4. Click “Share.”