Moving the Google+ Hangouts API Out of Preview

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 | 9:36 AM

One of the most important ways we connect with others is in person. That's why we're so excited about Google+ Hangouts, and why we launched a preview of the Hangouts API a few months ago. Today we're moving this API out of preview, and enabling developers to launch and share their hangout apps with the entire Google+ community!

Hangout apps are regular web apps, running in a big window inside the Hangout UI. In addition to using shared-state APIs to give users real-time interactivity, you also have access to built-in Hangout features, such as:

  • Initiate a group video chat with up to 10 people 
  • Control hangout microphones, cameras, speakers and volume levels 
  • Add sound effects and attach image overlays to faces 
  • Set UI elements such as the video feed, chat pane, and notifications
It’s easy to get started: read the documentation, build and publish your app, and then let users know. You can easily get the word out in one of two ways: 1) post a link to it on Google+, and/or 2) add the new hangout button to your website. In either case, anyone who clicks will start a new hangout with your app running inside. It then appears in the “Recent” apps pane for future hangouts.

To get the ball rolling, we're introducing a new "Apps" pane in Google+ Hangouts, as well as some featured applications, including Aces HangoutCacoo, Scoot & Doodle, SlideshareClubhouse Challenge by Bravo, and Google Effects. We’re looking forward to seeing what you can dream up in the weeks and months ahead.

Follow the conversation on Google+, and happy building!

A New Look for the +1 Button

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 | 10:06 AM

UPDATE (3/14/12): Today, we released the new +1 button from preview and it’s now rolling out to all users. You may also notice the numbers in your +1 buttons increase, as we update our plugins to better reflect social activity around your content. Our Webmaster Tools Help Center article has more details on this update.  Join the conversation on Google+.


Following in the footsteps of our new red and white Google+ icon, the +1 button is sporting a fresh coat of paint. Starting today, this update will be visible first to our Google+ Platform Preview Group and shortly thereafter we’ll roll it out to the public.

Check out the new pixels:


Before you’ve +1’d 



After you’ve +1’d 


The +1 buttons you’ve already installed will automatically update; there’s nothing you need to do. Stop by the updated configuration tool to see how these changes look across all the various sizes and shapes of the +1 button.

We’ll update this post when these changes graduate to the public.

Follow the conversation on Google+.


Posted by Eric Steinlauf, Software Engineer, Google+