Google to move Hangouts On Air to YouTube Live

It won't be available on Google+ starting September 12th.

Several years ago when Google+ launched, one of its key features was Hangouts, a video chat program that allowed several people to chat online at once. Hangouts grew so popular that it eventually spun off a public-facing option called Hangouts On Air, where would-be stars could interact with their adoring fans. Indeed, actual public figures like Tyra Banks, Brad Pitt and even the President have taken to Hangouts On Air in the past to answer queries. But come September 12th however, that option will be no longer, at least on Google+. Instead, users will be prompted to use YouTube Live, Google's other live video product, to broadcast in real-time.

According to a Google support document, you can set up the new Hangouts On Air by creating either a "Quick event" or a "Custom event" using YouTube Live's Creator Studio tool. You can either go live immediately or schedule a YouTube Live broadcast for later. As with the version on Google+, you can have the Hangout be public, unlisted or private to just a select group of invited guests. Unfortunately, Hangout On Air apps like Q&A, Showcase and Applause aren't currently available on YouTube Live, though they might be in the future.

The move to YouTube is yet another sign that the company is changing Google+. Last year, it moved Google Photos to its own product and even completely redesigned Google+ to be more of a community site than a social network. It also retired the G+ account as a requirement to register for services like Google Play Games and YouTube.