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What Is the Point of: Google+ Hangouts?

Whenever a new Web trend comes along, people ask, “What is the point of this?” If millions of people are using something, there has to be a reason. In our What Is the Point of… series, we’ll explain it to you.

This week, we’re asking, What is the point of Google+ Hangouts?

Who Hangs Out On Google+?

It hasn’t exactly taken over the world yet, but Google+ has become the social backbone of all Google’s services. If you “upgrade” your Google account to Google+, as more than 200 million people have, your profile becomes the way people find you in search and communicate with you across the Google-sphere.

Google wants to be your browser start page. If you’ve added friends and smart people to your circles, the page can be a constant source of updates and new information. Given that most people already happily find this service on Facebook, results on Google+ may vary.

But even if all your friends are Facebook loyalists, Google+ offers a killer app that makes it worth your attention. Based on YouTube’s massive infrastructure, Google built Google+ Hangouts, a virtual space that feels like a real place with real people in it whom you can easily meet face-to-face. Hangouts is

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