Many people are excited about Google’s new Hangouts feature, a free service that allows up to 10 people to join a group video chat. While the program does allow anyone with a Google email address to participate in a meeting, it is not without its drawbacks—many of which can affect the professionalism of your video conference, particularly if you are an attorney.

Here are a few features (and issues) you may experience when using Google Hangouts:

  • Participants. Anyone with a Gmail address can be added to your meeting, and you can invite groups using Google’s “circles” feature. However, adding an entire “circle” gives access to the meeting to the whole group—and invitees can also invite others to join the hangout.
  • Chat. In addition to video, people can send text messages to participants; however, texts can only be sent to the entire group. Users may be unaware that they have received text messages, however, since each participant has to click his or her “Chat” button to read group texts.
  • Videos. Google allows users to search for and share videos via YouTube within a Google Hangout, allowing you to share meeting materials or training videos with your attendees. One potential problem with this feature is that its performance varies depending on the strength of the internet connection, and the program automatically mutes all microphones during playback (making it difficult for you to share your thoughts on the material in real-time).

Take the Guesswork Out of Your Online Meeting in Our Conference Space

At Casamo & Associates, we can help you organize and implement your videoconference with minimal hassle and technical difficulty. Our videoconferencing space is fully-connected with a state-of-the-art Polycom video system, allowing you to interact with clients as if they were in the room. To use our Alexandria or Fairfax conference rooms, schedule a service to request a date, and we will call you to confirm.

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