Yesterday, Google+ was awash with excitement about two new features: Hangouts app for Chrome and Google+ Polls. One lets you chat better on your desktop, the other lets you create polls and see what others think about anything.
Hangouts Standalone App
If you are an avid chatter on Gmail or Google+, you know how unsettling it can get to have to have an open tab to chat on Hangouts. Not any more!
The new Hangouts app is available to you on Windows or Chrome OS machine and is available on the Chrome Web Store. This is how it works. Once you click install, it installs like any other Chrome extension but then launches the Chrome App Launcher. As such, once it’s live, it runs whether you open your Chrome browser or not. It’s prominent feature is the chat heads that pop up immediately someone sends you a new message. You can drag and drop the app wherever you want it on the desktop. What’s more, the chat heads disappear after a while, taking care of clutter. You can launch it from your Taskbar or Start menu.
If you are like me, you probably Google Talk specifically installed to go around the open tab issue but now that is sorted out.
Remember when Google bought Polar for Google+? Well, it was not for nothing. We now have polls on Google+! And immediately the news came out, I had polls all over my Home Stream. I am sure you did too.
This a new feature on your Share button where “you can use polls on Google+ to settle the burning issues of our generation…or at least find out what your friends are thinking.” It’s available both on the Web and Android. You only see the percentage of votes after you vote yourself and it’s turning out to be quite interesting.
How do you create a poll? Simply click on your share button and find the option added next to the ones that have been there before. Click on Poll, type your question, type your options, add an image if you want and click share. And you are live!
CircleCount is counting polls already. And people there happen to think the feature increased engagement on Google+.
We don’t know about you but we are pretty excited about this. What do you think?