New Google Hangout vs. Facebook Chat and Sidebar Issues

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Around the same time that Google+ first launched Facebook announced its new video chat service. This coincided with a new Facebook Chat look which has led to some complaints from users. Today we have an article looking at the new Google Hangout vs Facebook Chat, and Sidebar issues that have been affecting users.

First out of the block was the Google+ Hangout service which lets you chat with up to ten people at a time. The service is free and is clever as the video stream focuses on the person who s actually speaking at the time, until someone else begins to talk.

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Hangouts has plenty of features but is a bit more complicated to set up and use compared to the Facebook offering. You have to download Google’s Voice and Video Plug-in the first time you use it, but this only takes a short time to download and install. To initiate a Hangout you have to invite people to join either from your Circles or individually.

You then are all together in a virtual room which has a main content window and smaller thumbnail windows for each person in the Hangout. When someone starts speaking they appear in the main content window, and if they want to users can just take part using voice only, ideal if you are having a bad hair day or something.

The quality of the video in Hangout can depend on how many people are taking part and what their internet connection is like. One thing which will hopefully be added at a later date is confirmation people are currently signed into the Google+ service.

At present the video chat on Facebook is only on a one-to-one basis but this could change eventually, but it may not be free. But since the new look of Facebook Chat was launched there have been problems for users. The new sidebar has seen many users complaining about it, and not being able to customize it hasn’t helped either. Personally not all my Facebook friends even appear on the new sidebar and at first I thought I had been disowned.

Many people have been contacting us and wanting to go back to the old Facebook Chat, and could lead to a rethink by Facebook. All this could count in Google’s favor as more people see what’s on offer on Google+ and sign up. Once numbers increase we could see a big shift in power with many Facebook users jumping ship.

How have you found Google+? What do you make of the new Facebook Chat sidebar?