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Sunrise trials Google+ hangouts to take viewers behind the scenes

sunrise google plus hangoutSeven Network has conducted a high profile experiment embedding the new Google+ social network’s video Hangout facility into Sunrise.

In a project masterminded by the broadcaster’s new director of social media Adam Boland, Sunrise this morning used the tool to show viewers live coverage of five backstage areas on the show via Yahoo!7, and on air.

Boland told Mumbrella: “I don’t think there was anything extraordinarily revolutionary in the technology, in that we could have linked up webcams before Google Plus. But it was thinking about Google Plus that inspired us to try this.”  

Earlier this week, Boland wrote a guest post for Mumbrella explaining why he had been motivated to ditch Facebook for Google+ for his peronal use.

He said that video streams of the show were up about 25% on their normal levels this morning.

The show’s production team is also using the technology behind the scenes. The  9.30am and 2.30pm production meetings – which usually take place on the phone between the Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane bureaux – will now be conducted via webcam as a Google+ hangout. Boland said: “We tried it before with Skype chat but it was just too hard.”

He added: “The point of doing this is to try new things and generate a discussion about how we should use it.”

Despite his own admiration for Google+, Boland said Facebook was still at the centre of the broadcaster’s social media strategy. He said: “More people talk to our show via Facebook than they do more traditional means such as SMS.”

He added: “As soon as official branded pages for Google Plus are available, we’ll be there.”

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