- Google will discontinue Google+ Hangouts on Air, its live streaming capability on Google+, on September 12, according to Venture Beat.
- Google is redirecting users to its YouTube Live live streaming video service.
- Any Google+ Hangouts events scheduled for after September 12 will automatically be moved to YouTube Live.
As the major social media platforms move into live streaming, Google+ is getting out of it. But the move may be less about any bearishness toward live video streaming, and more about consolidating Google's social video efforts into YouTube over Google+.
Intended to rival Facebook and Twitter, Google+ was Google’s big foray into social media. Launched in September 2011, Hangouts was its group video chat capability, but was only available to select celebrities and users until Google+ Hangouts on Air came out in May 2012 for all Google+ users. Google’s YouTube Live launched a year later.
By dropping Google+ Hangouts in favor of YouTube Live, Google is essentially throwing in the towel on another social media experiment. Last July, Google dropped the Google+ log in requirement to use most of its various products. Another recent change is that Google Play store reviews no longer require a Google+ account.
While Google seems to be letting Google+ quietly fade away, other social platforms like Facebook and Twitter are moving aggressively to add new live streaming capabilities for users. After launching Facebook Live, Facebook has started testing ads on its live streams, while Twitter recently added a live video button and is bringing exclusive live video content to its platform via deals with major sports leagues. Both Facebook and Twitter are also courting social media stars and celebrities to bring live video content to their platforms.