Google Hangouts is rolling out some new invitation settings, and you may not like it
Google is rolling out some new invitation settings for it’s instant messaging service, Hangouts.
The change was spotted by a user, who posted the information on Google+.
How to access the new invitation settings in Google Hangouts:
1. Login to your Gmail Account.
2. Notice the Hangouts bar on the left which displays your profile picture, and the list of your contacts. Click on the downward arrow beside your name.
3. A pop-up menu should appear on the screen, with a lot of options. Scroll all the way down.
4. Click on the option which says “Customize invite settings”. It is the penultimate option, just above “Sign out from Hangouts”.
5. You can access the new settings at the very top of the list which appears.
This is a back-end change, which Google has enabled on its servers. So, if you don’t have the new invite settings, just clear your cookies and re-login, it should appear.
According to the new settings, there are two options to get bet invites: you can let people with your email address/phone number invite you to a conversation or contact you directly.
This is kind of like the way old telephone directories were used for, anyone could lookup your name or phone number to get your address from it.
So, in case you have your friend’s phone number but not his email id, or vice versa, you can still your initiate a conversation by using the information you have, which is a great way to be in touch with your near and dear ones.
But there is a huge disadvantage too. Unfortunately there is absolutely no way to prevent someone with your phone number or email id from inviting you to a conversation.
Google might have made a mistake by enabling this option, and of course, you could block them in Hangouts, and you could just not accept the invite, but it would be embarrassing for you, and may also hurt the other person’s feelings.
These options is only available if you select “Customized”, so if you have selected “Recommended”, they won’t appear.
Also, the new Hangouts invite settings are only available for the web version, i.e., only for the Desktop browser of Hangouts. It is unclear when it will be rolled out to the Hangouts App for Chrome, and to the mobile apps of Hangouts.
Hangouts also recently added Stickers to the desktop version, which you can read about from my previous write up.