The Q&A app allows viewers to ask questions before or during a Hangout On Air for the Host to answer. This app is one of the two main methods to track viewer comments, the other being the Comment Tracker.
Unlike the Comment Tracker, the Q&A app only takes questions or comments directly entered into the Q&A text field box. Importantly, it’s only the Host of the broadcast that can choose to turn on the app.
The Q&A app is a default app for Hangouts On Air. It doesn’t need to be downloaded.
For mobile devices, the Q&A app is currently available on Android and iOS devices in view-only mode. Mobile viewers won’t be able to submit or vote on questions.
This article shows you:
- as the Host of a Hangout On Air (HOA) how to enable the Q&A app and process questions
- as the Viewer, how to ask and submit a question
- how to review the answered questions on the video replay
- how to participate in the HOA Event if your viewing via YouTube
Finally, we’ll broadly discuss the benefits of the Q&A app vs the Comment Tracker.
Enabling the Q&A app
It is only the Host of the HOA Event that can decide to enable the Q&A app and Viewers can decide whether they want to see it on their Player Window or not.
The Hangout On Air Event will have been created.
To enable the app, go to the Events Page on the Main Menu.
Find your Event and click on the Event Title to view the Event page.
This will take you to the Event page for your Hangout On Air.
Once on the Event page, you will notice the Q&A app icon at the bottom of the Player Window.
When you mouse over the Q&A app icon it says: “Turn on the Questions and Answers app to let your audience ask and vote on questions”.
The next thing to do is to enable the Q&A app by clicking on it.
This will enable the Q&A app and you will see confirmation in the top right hand corner of the Player Window with the letters “Q&A”.
This bit is important:
- Only the Host can enable or disable the Q&A app from this HOA Event page, and
- questions can be asked before and during the HOA.
Congratulations! Questions can now be asked by your Audience.
What the Viewer Will See
For a normal HOA Event, the viewer will get to the Event page, click on the “arrow” in the Player Window, and either be shown a Trailer (if it has been uploaded) or a countdown timer.
However, if the Q&A app has been enabled, a different experience will occur when the Viewer clicks on the “arrow” in the Player Window.
The Expanded Player Window will open which has the Q&A app already loaded. The dedicated Question panel prompts you to “… ask a question and it will appear below”.
The first thing that is very obvious is the Player Window occupies your entire screen and you can’t see any of the comments made on the Event page.
To overcome this, you can detach the Expanded Player Window, if you want, by clicking on the Pop-out.
By clicking on the Pop-out you detach the Expanded Player Window.
The Expanded Player Window is now detached and can be moved or resized. This allows you to watch the HOA Event and ask or view questions, and also look at any comments on the Event page.
Before the HOA Event starts, or during the HOA, you can ask questions by clicking on the green “Ask a new question” button.
The “Enter a question” text field appears. Within the text field you are reminded that “Questions you ask are visible to anyone on the web”.
After you’ve typed in your question, click on the green “Submit” button.
You can now see the submitted question appears at the top of the Question panel of the Q&A app.
You will also note that the green button again prompts you to “Ask a new question”.
At the top of the Question panel there is a drop down arrow next to “Questions”.
As you can see in the screenshot below, clicking on the arrow brings up:
- Answered questions
- Your questions
Questions can be filtered to show all questions; questions that have been answered; and the questions submitted by you.
Deleting Your Question
The Question you have submitted can be deleted by hovering over the top right hand corner of the question and clicking on the drop down arrow.
Clicking on “Delete question” will delete your question.
Other Viewers Questions
When another Viewer asks a question, it will appear below the last question that was asked as seen in the screenshot below.
During the HOA, the question currently being answered automatically appears at the top with a blue background. Unanswered questions are displayed below it. This will be covered in more detail later in the article.
Voting of Questions
You can vote for questions you like by clicking +1 below the question.
The more +1’s a question has, the higher up the Question panel it will rise. This is like “crowd sourcing” for questions and has the benefit of the most popular questions being answered.
Flagging a Question as Spam
If you consider a Question to be inappropriate or spam it can be flagged by hovering over the bottom left of the question and clicking on the Flag.
Clicking on the Flag will delete the Question from the Question panel. The Host will be able to see which questions have been flagged.
Viewer Can Turn Their Q&A app Off or On
As the Viewer, you have the ability to turn the Question panel for the Q&A app off or on. If you turn the app off, your Player Window is larger. Here’s how to do it:
Click on the grid at the top of the Player Window to open the Q&A app icon.
The Q&A app icon appears.
Clicking on the app will close the Question panel.
Clicking on the Grid will close the app icon and you’ll be able to view the HOA in full Player Window.
Of course, to turn the app back on to ask and see Questions, just click on the Grid again and repeat the steps above.
How to ask Questions using the Q&A app via YouTube
Unfortunately the Q&A app is not available when watching Hangouts On Air through YouTube (or embedded on another website).
What is available is an annotation on the YouTube video screen showing the HOA Event. This will point viewers to the Hangout On Air page with the Q&A app.
By clicking on it, you are taken directly to the Hangout On Air page with the Q&A app to participate live.
The annotation is automatically generated when you enable the Q&A app on the Hangout On Air Event.
You also can see annotations on videos that are played on desktop and mobile devices.
Inside the Hangout Interface for the Host
The inside the Hangout Interface will be familiar to you and was covered when you were shown how to set up a Hangout On Air.
Although you have enabled the Q&A app from the Event Page, you must now activate it from within the Hangout Interface by clicking the app icon on the Main Menu.
As can be seen in the above screenshot, there are two questions in this example that can be answered.
To answer a question, click on “Select”.
Clicking the “Select” button shows the audience which question you are answering and bookmarks it in the video for later.
Upon selecting the question, its position is moved to the top of the Question panel, the background is blue, and it’s clearly indicated that it’s the question currently being answered.
Note the “Done” button in the above screenshot. When you’ve finished answering the question, the “Done” button is clicked and the question that was currently being answered disappears from the Question panel.
By clicking “Done” when you’ve answered the question you’re also marking when you have answered a question. This will allow viewers to jump to specific questions when playing the video at a later date.
Finally, you can manage Questions from the drop down arrow which will filter questions by:
- Questions: Questions yet to be answered.
- Answered questions: Those questions that have been answered.
- Spam: Questions considered Spam or inappropriate.
Viewing the Video
Viewing the recorded video of the Hangout will contain all the questions that were answered.
You can view the answers by clicking on the questions and that will take you to that part of the video where the question was answered.
You can view answers by hovering over the question you’d like to view. On the bottom right of that question, you’ll see an arrow if the question has been answered.
Click the arrow, and the video will jump to the location of that question.
If you want to watch a specific part of the video, click on the timeline to jump to that part of the video during or after the Hangout On Air, and the corresponding question will be highlighted to the right in the “Answered Questions” list.
The Q&A app vs Comment Tracker
A good question and it depends.
The huge benefit of a Hangout On Air is direct interaction with your audience. Nothing beats it.
They can see you, feel your body language, hear your tone, and get to know who you are. Your audience can quickly come to know and trust you.
There is also interaction either by way of the Comment Tracker or the Q&A app. Which is best?
The Comment Tracker has these benefits:
- It allows viewers to leave comments on the HOA Event page; on the YouTube page; and hashtag references on Twitter.
- Audience interaction is far greater.
- Before and during the Event, all these comments are collated and referenced by the Host of the HOA or by those within the HOA.
- It’s conversational in style and more intimate.
- The full Player Window is utilized.
The Q&A app has these benefits:
- It’s one way. A question is asked by a viewer and it’s answered. This is ideal if you have a very large audience and they already know like and trust you – in fact they adore you.
- Questions are voted into priority for answering. Again ideal for a very large audience where there could be hundreds of questions. Let the audience “crowd source” the good questions by +1. The more +1’s a question has, the higher up the Question panel it appears.
- Questions that are answered timestamps that question and answer in the recorded video.
Finally, the Q&A app is very easy to enable and setup compared to the Comment Tracker. The downside, however, is the lack of audience interaction and inclusion.
This article has shown you step-by-step how to use the Q&A app as a viewer, and as the Host. Also, the benefits of the Q&A app and the Comment Tracker were broadly discussed.
In the next article, we’ll look at all aspects of the Showcase app and how it can be of benefit in promoting almost anything you care to consider.