Friday, July 27, 2012 | 9:59 AM
We think that there are few things in life more awesome than being able to turn yourself into a unicorn and catch falling donuts on your horn. That’s one of the reasons we love Donut Horns, a game that B-REEL created using the Google+ Hangouts API.
Through the API, anyone can customize the intimacy and collaborative spontaneity of Hangouts: Custom hats, name tags, or glasses for your brand. Trivia challenges. Sing-alongs. You name it. Users can control aspects of an app with their bodies, sport custom media effects, play group games, and collaborate in real time. And you can make this easy: The Google+ Hangout button is easy to install on your site, and can launch a Hangout with your app pre-loaded.
Over 200 apps have been created so far -- from the useful ones, like Lower Third (which gives Hangout participants newscaster-like nameplates) to the fun ones, like the reality show trivia game that BRAVO made for Watch What Happens Live. (Some G+ fans have created a great directory for them.) Apps make Hangouts even more engaging -- one in three Hangouts now use apps, and the average duration of a Hangout increases 2.5 times when an app is used.
Sound interesting? Here’s a one-sheeter that we’ve made about Hangout Apps so that you have a quick guide for your colleagues and clients. But if you’re even more curious, we regularly host Google Developer Office Hours via Hangout to offer answers to questions and 1:1 advice. Check out our schedule and see what’s coming up.
And if you want to see some Hangout App action, here’s a video from our friends at The Webby Awards from the backstage Hangout at their annual awards show in May. Pirate hats and scuba masks sure make video conversations a little more interesting.
Posted by Caro McCarthy, PMM, Google+ for Business