The Google Hangouts team – what many of us picture as a lone guy in a Mountain View basement – have been on a bit of a run lately. First Hangouts 11 added support for video messaging (or embedded video links) and now a new feature is about to be rolled out. In the next few days you’ll be able to invite anyone to a group chat with a shareable link.
Admittedly, the old method of individually inviting people wasn’t that hard, but if you were organizing a birthday or something and needed to manually add 50 folks to the chat, it could get a little tedious. This new method allows you to flip a switch to enable shareable links, then just send the unique link to as many people as you like. You can share it from within Hangouts or you email it, SMS it, WhatsApp it – whatever. Anyone with the link will be able to join.
You can share the link from Hangouts or you email it, SMS it, WhatsApp it – whatever
You can flip the switch back off again, if you decide your group chat has gotten big enough and you can still invite people the old way as well if you prefer. The feature needs to be turned on in each group chat individually by tapping the overflow menu, then People and Options. You’ll see two new fields when you get it, one to enable the feature and another for sharing the link.
You will also be able to search for group chats in Hangouts by the chat name, so keep an eye out for a magnifying glass icon that wasn’t there previously too.
Will you use this feature? Is Hangouts still worth your time or have you moved on?