YouTube, Google+ let users have video-watching party

To make a viral video even more infectious, combine the power of Google+'s Hangout and YouTube's video-sharing functions

Google+ users can now have a video-watching party on YouTube.

That means if you want to participate in making the latest viral video even more infectious, you can do it by combining the power of Google+'s Hangout and YouTube's video-sharing functions.

Since the beginning of Google+, early adopters of the new social network have been raving about its Hangout feature, some even calling it G+'s "most interesting and useful feature." Hangouts have been so well appreciated that soon after Google+ went live, Facebook made a counter move and announced its Skype-powered in-browser video chat service.

For Google+ users, taking advantage of the new YouTube feature is simple.

While watching a YouTube video hit "Share" under the video pane, then "Watch with your friends: Start a Google+ Hangout." From there, you'll be asked to install the Google Voice and Video Plugin if you don't already have it. Then it's just a matter of choosing the Circles you'd like to include in your video-watching party.

If you haven't been invited to Google+ yet, you'll have to wait to use the new YouTube function. Google's social network is still in "field trial" and its floodgates haven't yet been opened to the masses.

Imagine sharing a video of one of your kids performing in a school play with your parents who live in another state and watching their reactions via web cam. Or, see your skateboarding teenager showing off video of the latest trick he mastered to young cohorts across town and getting to hear and see their appraisals without having to wait for comments to post on Facebook.

Considering nearly everybody uses YouTube to some degree, the new share option just might propel more people to accept some of those unused invitations and get on Google+.

What's your take? Can you see yourself watching YouTube videos collaboratively with others in a Hangout?

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Christina DesMarais

PC World (US online)
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