Summary: Google HangOuts has announced a change to the way it broadcasts Meetings. This change will occur on September 12, 2016. We have made the necessary programmatic changes which SHOULD mean a SEAMLESS transition between the current system to the new system.
HOWEVER – As Google has been known to roll out UNANNOUNCED changes, we suggest that customer consider that Webinars given on the day of the change (The 12th) be approached with extreme caution.
Please read the rest of this message to see the full scope of what will happen, and WHAT YOU NEED TO DO.
Here’s the full story:
Google announced on Monday that they are going to be replacing their Hangouts on Air system with YouTube Live, effective September 12, 2016.
The announcement was immediately picked up by the rabble-rousing media and sparked a flood of blogs posts and articles about Google Hangouts being “killed”, and other headlines designed to incite panic and create confusion. You probably saw this image in your social media stream all day last week as bloggers and news media picked up the story.
Here’s what’s really happening…
Google’s decision to “kill” Hangouts on Air (HOA) isn’t a death at all. Their service has always used YouTube’s Live broadcasting system, and the switch is really more akin to a branding decision then a real change in their service. Instead of HOA being coupled with Google’s G+ service, it is being rebranded under the YouTube brand. It really is that simple 🙂
It’s almost like they have simply moved the door to the service from being accessible through G+, to being accessible via YouTube.
How does this effect WebinarJam users?
Our developers have been researching and testing the changes that will be required as a result of the announcement. We’re pleased to let you know that little, if any, programmatic changes will be needed for your webinars to run smoothly. We’ve already tested running webinars through YouTube live, and anticipate that September 12th’s transition will be seamless for WebinarJam users.
Is there anything I need to do?
Yes! In fact, you must make a small change to your YouTube account.
YouTube has partnered this change with a change in their policy regarding embedded videos. Now, to enable the feature to embed videos (a requirement for the proper function of WebinarJam’s live and replay webinars, as well as EverWebinars that are based on previous live sessions), you will need to link an AdSense account to your YouTube channel, and have monetization turned on. You may have seen our service announcement that went out earlier this month with instructions on exactly how to set up these requirements. If you missed it, you can read it here.
If you haven’t already, the next time you login to WebinarJam or EverWebinar you’ll see a popup like this, which we added to ensure that users are aware of and make the changes to their account.
We recommend taking just a few minutes to change the configuration of the YouTube channel(s) you use for your webinars now, because changes can take 48 hours to take effect.
What will/COULD happen on September 12th?
We recommend not scheduling any webinars for September 12th. If you already have a webinar scheduled, we highly recommend postponing it until the 13th.
Google has provided limited information to us about their change, including a developer’s environment that we can use to test our system. In fact, we’ve done several webinars, and we think you’ll be pleased with the changes that are in store for you.
As of now, there may be an additional step in the process of creating webinars (literally, a single push of a button). If possible, we’ll find a way to automate this so the webinar start process remains the same. However, if it changes we’ll have an email, blog post, and Facebook group message to update you on the process.
Can I do a webinar on September 12th?
While we don’t anticipate even a minute of service interruption, because Google’s switch on the 12th may include last minute minor code changes that we don’t anticipate, we recommend avoiding webinars on that date. We’ll be running test webinars all day long on the 12th to be certain that things are working perfectly for our users.
Will there be further updates?
We don’t anticipate having further updates on this issue, however, if new information comes to light we’ll be sure to update you.
While we email our users as soon as we have substantial news to share, the fastest way to get updates on WebinarJam is by participating in our community on Facebook. There’s a post in the group that completely explains this update. If you have questions or concerns, please add them to this thread for fast response from our team.