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The must-have hangout extension for Hangouts on Air

Do you use Hangouts on Air and want your viewers to interact with you more directly?

This simple Hangout extension gives you this possibility by displaying the comments happening on Google+ posts directly inside of the hangout, giving you the chance to react to the comments live.

You can install the extension in your hangout by using this link:


Comment Tracker

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Beta is live for testing!

If you have signed up as beta tester you should have gotten an invite to a community where all relevant information is shared.

If you haven't gotten/have missed the invite or still want to join the beta, head over to and "Ask to join".
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#io14  is coming closer and closer

If you can't attend in person and also can't attend one of the numerous #ioextended  events, but want to keep up-to-date with what is currently going on, we have prepared a tracking URL for you, which brings together #io14  posts from Twitter and Google+.

And once the URLs for the live streams are public you can simply add those to the tracker and watch the video right there together with the social stream. (We'll try to update the tracking URL in this post including the live streams, but can't promise to change it in time for the keynote).

Edit: URL Updated with the live stream.
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Bringing Comment Tracker to the Big Screen

If you own a Chromecast device you can now use it to display your Comment Tracker stream on a bigger screen.
If you visit the standalone tracker at you can collect your sources as usual, and provided a Google Cast device is available you will see the cast icon on the top left of the middle column. (If you don't see the button right away it might mean that the app hasn't been published all the way to your device yet, restarting the Chromecast might fix this.)

While this might not be all that useful for following Hangouts (which was the original use-case of Comment Tracker), there are certainly other use-cases for this.
For example, how about events where you want to have a "social wall" displayed? We got you covered there. Arrange your Google+ and Twitter hashtag searches for your event (see for setting up Twitter) and you are all set to cast.

Since it's (of course) all over the news and social networks at the moment, the example in the video shows how to keep track of events in #sochi

While it would be possible to add the same functionality to the Hangout Extension of Comment Tracker, it doesn't make all that much sense there, so I will keep it in the standalone version for now. Let me know if you think the Cast button would be useful directly in the Hangout Extension as well :)

#chromecast   #commenttracker  
Charlotte Pierce's profile photoRasheed Per's profile photoLarry Fournillier's profile photoComment Tracker's profile photo
We're already doing this with +Hosted Hangouts and have the Comment Tracker Ticker running on screen while we broadcast.

Great for the viewers as they can see their comment even if the host/guests do not have time to respond.

Thanks for the update +Comment Tracker 
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Comment Tracker

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Comment Tracker now appears in a new and awesome look inside of +Hangout Toolbox. Huge congrats and thanks to +Moritz Tolxdorff and +Robert Pitt for getting this out into the public :)
Introducing Hangout Toolbox v2

Today we are please to announce the release of the long-awaited Hangout Toolbox V2.

Hangout Toolbox V2 has been re-designed with simplicity in mind. we have created the application from the ground up, putting performance and beauty at the top of the list, it’s now clean and super friendly to use.

You can now enjoy your Lower Thirds or Custom Overlays in HD quality as they have also been redesigned allowing for a better experience for your audience.

We also changed the Comment Tracker’s Overlay. This will give your next Hangout On Air a really cool professional look.

We are also introducing a new settings tab that allows you to Auto load Hangout Toolbox when you enter a hangout, we have also added the ability to mute hangout sounds, allowing you to be more professional within Hangouts On Air.

We are deprecating Hangout Toolbox V1 during this release, we are also sorry to say that your previously stored overlays are not compatible with V2, but we are sure you are going to love V2 so much, this shouldn't be a problem :).

We are currently doing a staged roll-out, this means that over the next 24 hours more and more people will have V2 activated.

You can learn more about Hangout Toolbox on and check out the videos for each feature.

#HangoutToolbox   #Hangout  
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Ever since i am a number 1 fan and friend of google in time of any circumstance came on my life, and im so glad with their tools hangouts that gave more life on me, and ofcours for every one.. Thanks to you... Enjoy this special gifts for us.. Happy new year...
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Comment Tracker

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The possibility to add Community streams as source to comment tracker (as described in isn't working currently. This functionality was based on an unofficial functionality in the Google+ APIs which isn't working any more. If you want this possibility back, please star the following issue:
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Bringing back Twitter

More people than I expected were desperately missing the inclusion of Twitter in Comment Tracker which I had to remove because of changes to the Twitter API (see Looking at alternatives someone suggested the awesome work by +Jason Mayes ( and after a few adjustments I'm now able to bring back Twitter to Comment Tracker.

Only the process to get tweets into CT has become a bit more complicated, since directly searching still won't work, so before you use it you will have to decide on one or more hashtags you want to track. If you have a regular HOA show I would suggest having a single unique hashtag for this show.

Here's what you have to do before you can track tweets for a hashtag:

1) Get a Twitter account if you don't have one already

2) Visit and click on "Create new"

3) Decide on what type of tweets you want to follow, in most cases you will want a "Search" for your hashtag, but you can also include the timeline of users or lists.

When it comes to the other option I would suggest to keep "Only show top tweets" unchecked and add a check for "Opt-out of tailoring Twitter", you get a preview so you can check if the tweets are the ones you expect to track.

4) Once you click on "Create widget" the URL of the page will change to<longnumber>/edit?something

You can copy this full URL as is and paste it into Comment Tracker to start tracking tweets. The URL itself isn't restricted to yourself so you can share it with other people who want to track tweets for your Hangout, you can try with this URL if you want:
(Note you can't open the URL itself but you can add it to Comment Tracker which will handle it correcty)

If you already created a widget for a hashtag in the past you can skip most of the steps:
1) Go to
2) Click on "Edit" for the hashtag/stream you want
3) Copy the URL and paste into CT

While this is more complicated than in the past I hope this will help the people who were depending on the Twitter functionality.

All of this is available as of now in the standalone-version, the separate extension of CT, as well as in +Hangout Toolbox 


You can start using the extension by opening a hangout video call via this link:

You can also use all the functions outside of a hangout here:

If you want to be notified about further updates to this extension please let me know, so that I can add you to an appropriate circle. Please make sure to circle the page as well, because I can't add you to circles otherwise. And if you want to be removed from the notifications again just let me know as well :)

#hangoutapps   #hangouts   #hangoutsonair #hoa
Ronnie Bincer's profile photoJaana Nyström's profile photoKenneth Read's profile photoMeilani MacDonald's profile photo
Glad you found a solution.
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Comment Tracker

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Everything back to normal

The problems have been solved thanks to the Google+ Developer team (thank you!) and Comment tracker should be back to its full functionality in all versions.

Sorry for the inconvenience this might have caused for you :)
Yifat Cohen's profile photoMarc Scheff's profile photoGajanan Sapate's profile photoComment Tracker's profile photo
How about the #Tags  of Google plus posts. Can't even it be tracked? 
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Have them in circles
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Looking for testers. Please comment on this or the original post to sign-up for the beta, which should be available in the coming weeks.
Sneak peek - Materialization and Polymerization

+Comment Tracker desperately needed a design and code refresh for quite a while now. With the new material design and accompanying Polymer paper elements coming out at #io14 (and the web-starter-kit that was published just before I/O), I felt inspired enough to get started on bringing Comment Tracker to more screens inside and outside of hangouts.

There's still some work to be done, but I'll be looking for testers in the coming weeks. So if you are interested in trying out the new version of Comment Tracker let me know in the comments, and I will add you to the circle I will share the links to the standalone and hangout-extension with, once it's stable and feature-complete enough for testing.

Some interesting custom elements that I needed to create in the process of implementing this so far (all of which will be open-sourced soonish)

A <twitter-fetcher> element based on the work by +Jason Mayes ( to retrieve and parse tweets as JSON from a Twitter widget.

A <text-screen> element based on the work by +Allen Firstenberg that takes text as input and displays a Hangout overlay.

A <simple-html> element that takes html as input, removes most of the tags, but still allows links to be displayed. This was necessary because Polymer automatically escapes all html input, so the only way to get links to be displayed is to split the html in text and link parts, extract the href from the links and have a template like this:

<template repeat="{{part in parts}}">
  <template if="{{}}">
    <a href="{{}}">{{part.text}}</a>
  <template if="{{!}}">

Having the design fully responsive also means, that it automatically works as Hangout extension which are limited to a width of 300px.

So now I have one <comment-tracker> element that includes all the functionality, and is included directly on the website.

For the Hangout extension I have a <hangout-comment-tracker> element, extending my <hangout-app> element ( to do the necessary Hangouts API setup. And inside the <hangout-comment-tracker> the same <comment-tracker> element as on the website is used. In the <comment-tracker> element I then check for existence of the Hangouts API to enable Hangout-only functionality, like the overlay.

#gde   #googleplus   #polymer   #article  

PS. Device template adapted from:
Martin Smythé's profile photoHerb Firestone's profile photoDwaine Stroud's profile photogeorge oloo's profile photo
I am interested.
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Profile Photos

By popular request the "comment screen" now features a photo of the commenter. Note that this is just a quick prototype, I'll have to spend some more time to rewrite the comment screen with some better styling.

In addition for YouTube comments I now try to retrieve a proper profile image when available, as opposed to just showing the YouTube logo.

As always, feedback welcome :)

#commenttracker   #hangoutapps   #hangouts   #hangoutsonair #hoa
Larry Fournillier's profile photoSheila Strover's profile photoAl Remetch's profile photoAngelique Duffield's profile photo
Very nice
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Thanks +Ronnie Bincer for putting together another great tutorial on how to use the not-so-obvious Twitter-functionality in Comment Tracker :)
10 Steps to Bring Twitter Comments into your HOA Broadcast
HOA Tips & Hashtag Tips
Hangouts on Air are a Magical Communications Tool... but not everyone can be In the Show, so we have found a way to make the HOA more interactive when live by bringing the viewer's comments onto the screen as part of the broadcast.

Grabbing the comments from all over the place can be a challenge... that is why we use the +Comment Tracker tool to help wrangle them into one place. They come in fairly easily from Google+ and YouTube, but take a bit more work to herd them into the broadcast from Twitter... but it is possible and this step-by-step set of graphics shows you how.

For those that don't like pictures as much:
Make a Twitter Widget using a unique hashtag for your HOA show, copy the URL of the Widget and paste it into the stand-alone Comment Tracker tool's "Sources" field... do the rest of the stuff you know/should know how to do ref:  - now you got 'em.

If using the HOA (Hangouts on Air) tool is part of what you do, or will be, you should check out our awesome membership community called Hangout Mastery here
=== ===
#HOAtips   #CommentTracker   #TwitterTips   #TwitterComments   #HashtagTips   #HangoutMastery   #TheHangoutHelper  
Alice Fuller's profile photoKristal Reagan's profile photoKrystalle Keszainn's profile photoAl Remetch's profile photo
Really helpful. Thank u
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Comment Tracker

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It's now easier than ever to start +Comment Tracker as part of +Hangout Toolbox :)
Recommended Hangout app
If you have never used the Hangout Toolbox before in your video calls, you will now see the app listed at the very top of the app bar.  The Hangout Toolbox has several features like Lower Thirds or Comment Tracker. You should definitely give it a spin in your next video call or Hangout On Air.

#Hangouts   #HangoutsOnAir   #googleplusupdate  
Dave Hill's profile photoWade Harman's profile photoSallena Pool's profile photoComment Tracker's profile photo
+Mark Burns and +Kevin Tumlinson   Were you ever able to get answers to these questions?  I'm a couple of months behind you and stuck in the same place!
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Good news & bad news

Bad news first:

No more Twitter
Since Twitter has now turned off their public search API, tracking tweets via search terms/hashtags can unfortunately no longer be supported by comment tracker. Re-enabling this feature would require adding an additional authentication flow where you would have to connect Comment tracker with Twitter and I haven't yet found a good and unintrusive way to do this, especially since Twitter doesn't seem to allow client-side authentication and server-side authentication doesn't really work in a Hangout Video Call environment.


Now to the good news:

One Button to rule them all
With Twitter removed I was able to simplify the UI so that only one button is necessary. If you insert a Google+ or YouTube URL the according comments will be tracked. Inserting or typing anything else will perform a Google+ Search on the keyword.

People/Pages Streams
In addition to tracking comments and searching posts, you can now also add the profile URL of a person or a page. This will add recent (and freshly incoming) posts to the tracker stream.
One scenario where this will be especially useful is for adding event posts to the tracker (which unfortunately doesn't work directly by adding the event url). What you can do now is the following:

1) Copy the profile URL of the person/page who created the event and add it to comment tracker.
2) Find the event post (and relevant other posts) in the stream and add them with the "Track comments" link available on each post.
3) If you want you can then remove the person/page stream from the sources again.

Community streams
Similar to adding the profile URL of a person or page you can also add the URL of a community to the tracker. This will show recent (and freshly incoming) posts in the community in the stream. This can for example be interesting if you have a community dedicated to your HOA show where people can ask questions as well. Please note that this uses an unofficial feature of the Google+ API which might stop working without prior notice, but it works for now.

All those changes are now available in the separate Comment Tracker extension and in the stand-alone version. The comment tracker module of the +Hangout Toolbox will be updated soon as well (watch out for a separate post about this).
Edit: update available in +Hangout Toolbox as well now.


You can start using the extension by opening a hangout video call via this link:

You can also use all the functions outside of a hangout here:

If you want to be notified about further updates to this extension please let me know, so that I can add you to an appropriate circle. Please make sure to circle the page as well, because I can't add you to circles otherwise. And if you want to be removed from the notifications again just let me know as well :)

#hangoutapps   #hangouts   #hangoutsonair #hoa
Carol Dodsley's profile photoDigiDesk's profile photoRobert Countryman's profile photoSyed Abdul Razzak Ghani's profile photo
Could I please be added to the update circle +Comment Tracker?
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