Google+ Introduces Audio-Only Mode for Hangouts

By Cameron Scott 

google+, social networks, social media, googleGoogle Hangouts, the video-chat app that originated within Google+, will begin allowing users to turn off the video feature and use audio only.

As in Skype, each user can select whether to blacken out a video feed of them. If they do so, their standard profile picture is displayed for others participating in the conversation.

Each user opts in or out of the video function independently.

Google packaged the feature as a benefit for users with low-bandwidth connectivity, but it could work equally well for those who are wearing their pajamas.

Google is also launching a bandwidth slider bar that will allow users to force the hangout to operate at a lower bandwidth.

“Both of these features are coming your way today but they’re rolling out separately so you may see one before you see the other. Very soon both features will be available to everyone,” wrote Tim Blasi on Google+.

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