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Google Transitions Hangouts on Air Users to YouTube Live

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Google announced that it's migrating Google+ Hangouts on Air users to YouTube, although the platform will live on. A YouTube blog post explains that Hangouts on Air is moving from Google+ to YouTube Live as of September 12. After that time, anyone who wants to create a new Hangout will need to go to YouTube Live. Any Hangouts already scheduled for after September 12 will also have to be moved.

The post offers clear instructions for creating a Hangouts on Air session with YouTube Live. People can create them when needed or schedule them in advance. Users will find their meeting options more limited, as YouTube Live doesn't support the Q&A, Showcase, and Applause features of Hangouts on Air. The post suggests that event organizers use other social media tools to gather questions ahead of time.

The move is part of a communications strategy shift at Google that includes the launch of two communications apps for consumers—Duo for video chat and Allo for text messages. Both apps were announced at the Google I/O developer conference in May.

Hangouts isn't going away, but will instead focus on business. According to Nick Fox, Google's vice president of communication products, interviewed by Engadget, Hangouts was already more popular with corporate users.

"Because Hangouts is built on a Google account, because it's deeply integrated with Google apps, the Apps suite, Gmail, Calendar and so on, it's seen much more success in the enterprise," Fox said. "It will increasingly focus on that kind of group collaboration enterprise productivity space."

While Google is trying to keep the migration roadmap clear, time will tell if users are comfortable shifting to YouTube Live or Duo, or if they'll look to video solutions from other companies instead.

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