New Google+ Hangouts

Google switched to a newer format to Google Plus a couple of days ago. This made our users see a red box that says “Unable to sign In :( Hangouts has not been enabled for your account. Please contact your administrator to enable this service.” and access to hangouts was effectively turned off for all users in our domain.

I have now enabled the new Hangouts for our domain.

Here are some of the features of the new Hangouts that Google lists:

Receive notifications across devices
Users will receive a notification across all of their devices when a message has been sent. They can continue the same conversation in Gmail, in Google+, on Android, on iOS, and through Chrome.

Hangouts message history
When using the new Hangouts, users can still communicate off the record by turning off message history. If they don’t save the history, messages will disappear within a short period of time.

Group conversations
Currently, anyone who is not using the new Hangouts will be unable to participate in a group Hangout. If users in a group Hangout invite someone who is using Google Chat, Google Talk, or a 3rd party chat app, the person will be unable to join.

Status messages
The new Hangouts does not have a field for users to write a status message.

Presence indicators
In the Hangouts list, if there’s a green line under a profile photo, the person is likely on the desktop and will be notified about new messages or video call invitations immediately. If there isn’t a green line, the person is likely on a mobile device, has Snooze Notifications enabled, or is idle.

1-on-1 audio calls
Calling a phone number is not yet available.