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Lindsay Schuster

Blab versus Google Hangouts: A Comparison

Lindsay Schuster
Blab versus Google Hangouts: A Comparison

The newest “it” thing to hit live streaming is a web-based site called Blab.

Blab is definitely quickly becoming a top contender in the live streaming services that are available these days.

One of thing things I have been seeing is that Blab is being called the Google Hangouts killer. I decided to investigate some of the major differences of Blab and Google Hangouts to see if Blab could truly make Google Hangouts obsolete.

What is Blab?

Let’s start with the basics – what exactly is Blab? What is a Google Hangout? Here are the descriptions according to each platform:

Blab – “a place to watch, join, and interact with live conversations about the topics that matter most to you.”

Here is a screenshot from a recent Blab I was in:

Blab.im screen shot

Google Hangouts – “you can host and broadcast live discussions and performances to the world through your Google+ Home page and YouTube channel.”

 Here is a screenshot from a webinar I hosted on Google Hangouts:

Blab.im screen shot

How Many People Are Included?

Blab allows for conversations for up to four people, whereas Google Hangouts allows for up to ten. Blab keeps the same layout while people are speaking, whereas Google will switch the camera view to only the person speaking.

A Blab is started by a host and requires a minimum of one other person to join in order for it to continue. Google Hangouts requires a host, however, it is not necessary for someone else to join in order to continue. This makes Blab a truly social environment where conversations naturally start to happen.

Chat Boxes

Another very prominent feature in Blab is the chat box down the right side of the screen. This allows the audience to ask questions and converse with both the people on screen and those that are also watching. It truly makes you feel that you are part of a community.

Google Hangouts does have a chat box, however it is often not used because the majority of people watching are often not actually watching from the Google Hangouts page. Google Hangouts allows your viewers to watch it from the actual Hangout page (the only spot where you can see the chat box), YouTube, through a webinar software or embedded on a website.

Blab only allows you to watch a live event on the actual website.

Login Process

Blab is integrated with Twitter, so you can log in with your Twitter account and get started. To participate or run a Google Hangout, you must have a Google + profile.

Your profile on Blab is similar to any other social network; you have people you follow as well as followers.

Both Blab and Google Hangouts can be accessed on a desktop. Blab is currently not supported in Safari.

Both platforms have mobile apps.


Blab and Google Hangouts allow for scheduling of events. Any subscribers to the event will be notified when it goes live. Any user can subscribe to a Blab, however, not everyone can subscribe to a Google Hangout.

Privacy Settings

Blabs are public for anyone to see. You cannot block someone from watching one of your broadcasts. You can however, black them from coming in one of your “seats” so that they do not appear on camera. You can also block someone in the comments section.

With Google Hangouts, you can select/invite only certain people to watch. You can also have your replay on private so that only selected people are able to view it.


With Blab, you can choose whether you want to be On or Off the Record. If you are On the Record, you simply hit a button that will start recording the Blab. If you do not hit the On the Record button, your Blab will not be recorded and gone forever.

Google Hangouts automatically records your Hangouts and sends you a YouTube video link if you are the host. The recording includes the entire Hangout, whereas Blab’s recording only includes what you have indicated to record.

Screen Sharing

Google Hangouts allow you to share your screen with an audience. Blab does not allow this.

Overall, I do not think that Blab is going to officially “kill” Google Hangouts. I do think many people will jump over to Blab from Google Hangouts though, especially those who want to use it to just…Blab with others.

If you are looking for a little more privacy with your lives streams, it is best to stick with Google Hangouts. Many people use Google Hangouts as a webinar platform and to perform coaching or conference calls. I don’t think Blab will ever offer private streaming, only because it seems that it has been built on the premise of truly interacting with people.

What do you think? Have you tried Blab? I would love to know in the comments below.

Lindsay Schuster is a Social Media Strategist who is helping keep social simple for entrepreneurs. She lives in Toronto with her husband and shih-tzu. She pretty much lives on Twitter, so be sure to say hi to her @lindsayschustr.

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