AOL-owned news network Huffington Post debuted its new HuffPost live streaming network this morning with cofounder Arianna Huffington introducing it as the stream fired up at 10 a.m. EST. The network will stream live from New York for eight hours a day and live from Los Angeles for four hours a day on weekdays. Highlights will air on the weekend. With a total of 10 hosts and help from Huffington Post bloggers and editors, the network has a focus on audience participation with user’s being able to call-in via webcam.
AOL is using its own technology for audience participation. However, I noticed while watching the stream this morning that Huffington Post is opting to use Google+ Hangouts for roundtables with its bloggers, editors, and guests. We already saw how many times Google+ Hangouts has been adopted by politicians, public figures, and more to communicate with fans. The NFL even uses it for its fantasy football league.
Google+ Hangouts ease of use and reliability may be why the folks at HuffPost opted to use it rather than another solution like Skype. Hangouts offers great features. For instance, it automatically highlights the person that is talking, which is something that a talk show could certainly benefit from. It is also very easy to get guests on Hangouts through quick invites via email.