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Google+ Hangouts On-Air adds Live Q&A sessions

Google has added a new tool for its Hangouts On Air feature, allowing broadcasters to answer live questions posted by viewers.

The new feature, which is likely to aid the more famous broadcasters rather than every day folk using the service, will feature questions from viewers on the right pane of the screen.

With a million concurrent users able to submit questions, those tuning into the broadcast are able to vote up the questions they most want answered.

The broadcaster can pick and choose the questions they wish to answer and then mark them as complete to remove them from the queue. That’ll also timestamp the YouTube recording to enable those tuning in later to scan through the session.

In a post on his own Google Plus page, Amit Fulay says Live Q&A is the first of many new features on the way to allow users to interact with their viewers.

Fulay said: “With Hangouts On Air, you can take a group video call and broadcast it to the world. And we’ve seen everything from concerts to political debates to online classes share their conversations ‘On Air.’ What’s been missing, however, is a way to interact with your live audience (vs. only the people onscreen). Not any more.

“Today we’re introducing Live Q&A for Hangouts On Air — the first of many features to help you engage with your viewers.

“We’re rolling out Live Q&A over the next few days (fully on desktop, view-only on Android), so look for the new features the next time you start or watch a Hangout On Air.

The new Live Q&A feature may entice some of the celebs participating in Reddit IAmA sessions to transfer their revelations to a more visual medium.

It appears that users will have to be logged into the Google Plus social network in order to participate in the chats, but at least that should keep the questions a more civilised…