For those still feeling disappointment with Google+ check out the relatively new Hangouts video chat app that lets you don virtual face props like pirate hats, mustaches, and tiaras. It’s called “Google Effects” and it’s totally ridiculous! The software is apparently right on target; it instantly scales the effect you select to your face and easily tracks your image around the screen as you chat.
This could be good news for people who don’t like online video conversations. Despite easy access to webcams most people dislike video chatting. According to a Pew study, only 23 per cent of adult U.S. Internet users had ever tried a video call, conference, or chat.
You might guess teens would be early adopters video chatting, as 95 per cent of teens use the Internet, but a 2011 Pew survey found that only 37 per cent of those online adolescents had participated in a single video chat.
Not sure if a virtual eye patch and full beard is going to sway more people to video chat, but Google reports “Google Effects” is the most popular Hangout app so far. Will it revive a ghost town of a social media platform…..I don’t think it will.
But if you enjoy being a totally goof-ball in front of your friends and family (this app is not recommended for work appraisals with the boss!), then you will probably love the new virtual toy to play dress-up.
Photo credit: Seth Stevenson
Story and stats source: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/the_browser/2012/07/google_effects_the_wildly_popular_new_tool_that_lets_video_chatters_wear_