I’ve always described Google’s social spine, Google+, as being personal rather than social. It’s a service for you to connect with people you already know, rather than being all about public sharing, like Twitter, which has its place in the world.
By personal, I mean that real connections can be made using services like Hangouts with people in your family who might be spread out all over the world. Hangouts allow you to start a “room” with people speaking over a microphone and in front of a camera, which switches when someone is talking. The campaign, called “Hang Out With The Family” helps tie together all of the services that Google has been rolling out to bring this personal experience to life.
You’ll notice that the campaign also features Wallace and Gromit, popular characters that are all over YouTube.
It’s Christmas-themed, but you don’t have to celebrate that holiday to make Google+ Hangouts work for you and your family and friends. The product isn’t perfect by any stretch, requires people to download a plug-in, and can sometimes drop connection, but the onboarding is continually improved to even help Mom out.
Here’s what Google’s Product Marketing Manager, Kevin Maguire, had to say about the holiday-themed adventure:
Click this link to schedule your holiday family hangout and we’ll send all your invitations out with a custom Wallace and Gromit video. Since Hangouts let up to 10 people video chat at once, right from Google+ or Gmail, you can invite the whole family to join—and maybe a few friends too.
While some of these things might not be new concepts, the technology behind Google+ Hangouts is quite impressive, considering the scale of it all. What will you use to reach your friends and family over the holidays if you’re not in the same town?