In what could be seen as another step towards the closure of Google+, the Mountain View-based tech giant has decided to decouple the Hangouts on Air service from the social network. Starting September 12th, Hangout users will be asked to migrate to YouTube Live to conduct sessions or Q&A’s.
After launching Google+ in 2011, Hangouts, the video messaging client was one of the key feature additions to the platform. Extending the video chat platform further, Google debuted the livestream feature for Hangouts group chats in September 2011. The livestream feature was initially made available to select users and celebrities, but was later rolled out to all in 2012.
On the other hand, YouTube, owned by Google, also added live-streaming capabilities to its platform in May 2013. Called YouTube Live, the service was rolled out to more and more users in the following year or so.
But, the tech giant has announced today that it planning to merge the two services and you can guess who’s merging with whom. On its support page, YouTube is displaying a message that reads,
If you want to schedule new Hangouts On Air you will need to use YouTube Live. Events cannot be scheduled on Google+ after September 12 and you will need to move existing events scheduled to happen after September 12 to YouTube Live.
But, rest assured, Hangouts on Air is just being distanced from Google+ but will continue to exist on one form or other. Google has confirmed that it will move to YouTube Live but isn’t shutting down Hangouts on Air, in an email statement sent to TechCrunch.
We’re focusing our live streaming efforts on YouTube Live and consolidating our services there. Hangouts on Air has been available through YouTube since it was launched and YouTube Live is a natural home for the service.
says a Google spokesperson.
Previously, the tech giant has taken steps to remove Google+ integrations from all of its products, starting with YouTube last year. The Play Store has recently also severed ties with the suffering social networking platform, surviving on a couple communities.