Google+ Hangouts On Air opened to all

Google has opened up its Hangouts On Air video streaming system on Google+ to all of the social network's users, having trialled the live broadcast system with select celebrities and news organizations. Set to roll out gradually to the entire user-base over "the next few weeks" – so as to avoid bringing the system to its knees – the service basically turns Google+ into a personal TV channel, with support for unlimited viewers.

While you're streaming, there's a viewer count to show how many live watchers are around. After broadcasting, the video is automatically added to YouTube and then pinned to the original Google+ post for later playback.

Google has a list of the countries where Hangouts On Air can be accessed – including the US and UK, Taiwan, Canada, France and Egypt – though it does warn that users who have previously been scolded for YouTube violations won't be able to access it. If you've had a YouTube strike, you'll be blocked from having an on-air Hangout.

The system has previously been used by such luminaries as President Obama and the Black Eyed Peas', though unsurprisingly not at the same time. You'll know when it's been added to your account as you'll have a new "Enable Hangouts On Air" option in your profile.