Google+ is the new social network from Google. The social network is still in invite-only beta, so currently only a limited number of Google users are able to try out the features offered in Google+. Many of the features offered in Google+ are likely familiar to those who use Facebook, such as the ability to post updates, chat with friends, and share photos. One feature entirely unique to Google+ is the ability to create a hangout with other Google+ users. This hangout is a video chatroom where you can chat with up to 10 other Google+ users using your webcam. This feature is free, just like the rest of Google+.
To start a group video call for free with Google+, you will want to start a hangout. You will first need a Google+ account. Once you have access to Google+, go to plus.google.com/hangouts or simply click the blue Start a Hangout button on the side of your stream in Google+. A popup will then appear with instructions to download the Google Voice and Video plugin, which you will need to video chat with other Google+ users. Once you install the plugin, you’ll be brought back to the “green room.” as Google calls it, where you can check your camera and microphone settings and choose circles or individuals to invite to the hangout. Don’t worry, though — no one can see you while you’re in the green room. Once you’re ready to chat, click on the green Hangout button to broadcast your video feed and start chatting, or to join a hangout already in session.
If you want to join a hangout and video call with others for free who have already started chatting, you can find ongoing chats in your stream by looking for posts that include a button that says Join This Hangout. You may also have been invited to a hangout, and will receive a notification if this happens; you will also receive a message via chat if less than 25 people were invited. You can also join a hangout if someone shares the chat URL with you. Once you are in a hangout, you can invite other users to join, chat with users in the hangout, share a YouTube video, or change your settings, including muting your video or mic.