Hangouts become centerpiece of Google’s developer outreach

Updated. Google (s GOOG) launched a new section of its developer site called Google Developers Live Tuesday that aims to be a central destination for third-party developers in need of help with their projects. At the center of these efforts are Google+ Hangouts, the company’s group video chat platform. Blogger turned Google+ Product Marketing Manager Louis Gray announced the site with a post on Google+, which read in part:

“Google I/O kicks off next week in San Francisco, putting Google Developers face to face with Google employees and other product experts for three full days. We’d like to bring that face to face experience to our developers year round.”

Google developer advocates and product managers have been using Hangouts quite a bit in recent months to reach out to developers and answer their questions face to face. Some of these weekly Hangouts have been used to dive into code examples, while others have invited third-party developers to share their experiences. Most of these Hangouts were only announced on Google+ itself, and developers had to follow the right people to hear about them in time to join live.
Update: Gray just sent us the following statement about the evolution of these office hours sessions:

“For the past several months, we have been hosting hangouts and office hours as a way to connect face to face with developers who build for Google products around the world. We have seen incredible engagement, with developers asking lots of great questions and gaining insight in how to create inspiring applications. Extending this personal connection between Google and our growing community of coders is exactly why we launched Google Developers Live, to extend this magic year round.”

The new site now aggregates all of these efforts, and makes them more widely available through Hangouts On Air, which means that each and every developer office hour will be available as a live stream to an unlimited audience.
Google opened up Hangouts on Air for everyone last month after making it available to select users last year. Google Engineering Director and Hangouts mastermind Chee Chew told me earlier this year that office hours are an ideal use case for Hangouts on Air, even when used in an academic context. “You may help one person, but you want to broadcast that out to the rest of the class so they can watch and learn at the same time,” he said.
Check out my entire interview with Chew below: