It’s been a busy week for Google Hangouts, earlier in the week it gained video messages and lost merged conversations. And now, in a developer posting on Google+ (Google’s other stepchild product), it seems Hangout’s group conversations is gaining a new feature.
Previously if you wanted to add someone to an existing group conversation you had to first add them to your contact list. Not always a big deal but on more than a few occasions I’ve had to painstakingly walk someone through the process of figuring out what their Google account is so I can add them. With today’s addition of share via a link, those days may be long behind you.
For existing groups simply tap the overflow menu (the 3 dots) and select ‘People & Options’. From there you will have the option of turning on the new ‘Joining by link’ option. Once you have you can immediately start sharing the link right from there.
Just a word of warning, if you do this the person joining the group will have full access to all previous messages, just be mindful of that, Google’s servers have a long memory.
Unfortunately, this new feature doesn’t work for creating groups. If you want to create a new group this way you’ll first have to start the group with at least one other person before sharing the link with everyone else.
With Hangouts getting a little love so close to the expected release of Google’s new messaging darlings Allo and Duo it does indeed look as if all 3 products will coexist for some time ahead.
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