Google Hangouts has been released with a new feature that lets the users determine how others contact them on this platform.
There is a new “customize invites” option in the latest Hangouts 4.0 and using this option, users can easily choose the people whom they want to receive invites from. You can choose to only allow those with your phone number to send you invitations on Hangouts, restrict the invites to only those who have your email address or decide to stick with everyone else.
How it works
Google seems to have rolled out this update very quietly since it does not require updating of the app. Instead, it seems to be coming from the server side. To access this feature just head over to your Hangouts settings and when under the “How others get in touch with you” option, tap on the Customize invites option. You will be presented with three options from which to choose from.
As noted earlier, you can choose to allow invitations to come from people who have your phone number, those with your email address or everyone. Upon clicking on each of these options, you will get more options for customizing these invites, for instance, users can contact you directly, send an invite or block them from contacting you.
How secure is Google Hangouts?
Despite the addition of some amazing features associated with who can find you on Google Hangouts, there is still a question of whether this application is safe to use in communication.
Earlier this year, Google made it clear that it was helping the U.S. government in matters associated with surveillance. During this period, the company also revealed that it does encrypt its Hangouts messages, but it remained silent on the issue of employing end-to-end encryption. This silence went on for a while but later on, the company clarified that it does not implement end-to-end encryption in Hangouts conversations.
Towards the end of last year, WhatsApp made waves when it partnered with Open Whisper Systems to introduce end-to-end encryption. This move was seen as a mission by the company to stop the rising number of users on Telegram, which makes use of this encryption protocol in its conversations. What end to end encryption promises the users, are safe conversations, which are not susceptible to interception.