Dec. 14, 2011 at 5:56 PM ET
By Craig Kanalley
Social Media Editor, NBC News
In September, a series of new features were rolled out, making Hangouts even more robust, including screen-sharing, "On Air" to broadcast to more than 10 people and Hangouts for mobile.
Wednesday, in a blog post, Google announced a series of new features and they all center around Hangouts. While "On Air" is still in testing with select accounts, like The Muppets, it will be expanded to more public figures. Google hinted that the feature could be available to all in the future.
Here are other Hangout features that were announced:
Googlers shared the news excitedly to their accounts. VP of Engineering Vic Gundotra posted about the new features with the hashtag #seasonforshipping. Community Manager Natalie Villalobos introduced the changes by saying, "Just Another Morning at Google+ HQ."
From their posts, word of the new features quickly got around the Google+ network. Gundotra's post was shared 482 times (see how it spread here).
Google+ power users applauded the news. Serial entrepreneur Tom Rolfson said, "More proof the Google+ team is listening and adding requested features." Business consultant Alex Grossman added, "Good to see Hangouts getting more attention."
Tech evangelist Robert Scoble called the new features "major," adding: "Looks like we'll soon be able to broadcast hangouts and record them, too. I hear these will come to a small set of users first, then spread to the rest of us. As soon as I get these features I'll use them a LOT. Good stuff!"
Read more about the new Google+ features here.