Today with two sentences Google’s Brian Glick introduced a Google+ feature that lets us hangout with friends while watching a YouTube video. With the click of  “Watch with your friends, Start a Google+ hangout,”  you can share your YouTube viewing experience. Pretty cool!   If you’re not on Google+ yet, a hangout lets you video chat online with any of your Google+ contacts one at a time or dozens at a time.


Here’s what the Hangout YouTube dashboard looks like. Everybody was having dinner when I was experimenting so I haven’t actively had a hangout on YouTube with my Google+ friends yet.

A few weeks ago at Chicago’s start-up and venture capital forum TechWeek, Steve Grove, head of News and Politics at YouTube, walked us through  several improved features and Dave McClure of 500 start-ups repeatedly urged businesses to use YouTube to drive up exposure.  With addition of this simple and seamless feature I can see why.
At TechWeek, Grove spoke about several YouTube features. CitizenTube is news of the day curated in partnership with Storyful. He also walked us through YouTubeTrends, which shows trending topics and videos across 16 categories including movies, news, politics, sport and virals. The YouTube media Center includes a press library, stats and b-roll. The YouTubeTrends dashboard promises to bring it all together. We can sort by age and place but I have to say that even with the sort on it looked to me like everyone of every age was watching the same thing.
I asked Grove when YouTube watchers would be able to sort by zipcode through the dash and he said YouTube wasn’t quite there yet. Today, YouTube announced that it has settled with the National Music Publishers Association of America, giving them a share of ad revenue. That’s good because 40% of the YouTube audience is sharing music videos , according to Digital Media Wire.

These developments all bode well for Google and its Google+ fledgling social network. Now that I can hangout on YouTube,  Google+ has almost won me over — it’s something I love to do. If it were not for my recalcitrant  FaceBook friends I’d be spending way more time at Google+.