Google Hangouts

Website review by
Polly Conway, Common Sense Media
Google Hangouts Website Poster Image
Popular with kids
Chat, listen, and learn on Google's communication platform.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 15 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 30 reviews

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Educational Value

Kids can learn how to be involved in a group conversation; little things like waiting their turn to speak, listening, and responding to others' opinions all add up to improved communication skills. When writing instant messages, either silly or school-related, they'll be challenged to get their point across in a brief, concise way; it's a fast medium that makes you think on your feet. Google Hangouts gives kids a place to express themselves, listen, and learn at the same time.

Positive Messages

Allowing kids to communicate with faraway family, friends, or teachers can help them maintain strong relationships.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Google Hangouts are a way for kids, families, and teachers to communicate online for free. You can video chat, instant message, and share photos. However, to get the full range of offerings, you must sign up for Google+, Google's social networking tool. As with all social networking, kids' usage should be monitored, as there aren't any safeguards that keep it completely kid-friendly.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byI say... February 1, 2015

Really Good! There are some concerns a parent might have, though...

There are some concerns for parents, though. This is a very good site to use for contacting friends and family. However, when I signed up, I did not know it was... Continue reading
Parent of a 5, 7, and 10-year-old Written byDenise A. October 23, 2016

be very, very careful

This is a seemingly innocuous 'place', but stick with face time. There are privacy backdoors that predators can get into quite easily, as once you... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old May 27, 2019

Just Texting Really

Well, Google hangouts is just like texting really. You can text your friends and stuff like that. If your not comfortable with your kids using texting, or iMess... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old June 8, 2014


You can chat with friends and family. You can also video chat. Say your child's best friend moves away. They can get Gmail accounts and keep in touch easil...

What's it about?

Google Hangouts are simply that: hangouts that occur online -- through text or video -- with friends, family, teachers, or anyone else in your network. Users can communicate with a single person, a group, or create a \"Hangout on Air\" to broadcast their video to the world. When you're signed in to Google (through Gmail, or one of their other sites), click on \"Try Hangouts;\" you'll be prompted to install a quick plugin onto your computer. Once that's done, it's easy to start a Hangout with someone: Simply hover over their name with the mouse; a small window pops up with clickable icons for a video, chat, or email. Hangouts can also be recorded and archived if you ever want to revisit a conversation or lesson.

Is it any good?

Google Hangouts are great! For kids who already use Gmail or Google+, getting acquainted with Google Hangouts should be pretty straightforward. Google knows how to make things user-friendly, and Hangouts is no exception; getting started is very intuitive. The ability to chat with up to 10 people at once is pretty exciting, and there's tons of potential, not only for families, but for school-related projects and group work as well.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Use Google Hangouts to create a family reunion of sorts; see if you can gather up to 10 family members for a five or ten-minute video chat. If it works, make it a monthly or weekly event.

  • Encourage your kids to use Google Hangouts for fun, but also as another way to stay connected with school. They can check in with classmates to talk about school-related stuff, quiz each other, find out about missing assignments, or anything else related to school. The possibilities are endless.

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