The Hangup with Google Hangouts

Confusing phone

Where’s the link to start a Google Hangout???

It’s a strange thing what Google has done with the UX (user experience) of Google Hangouts in the last several months or year. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how to get a link to a Google Hangout to invite people to. Google assumes that everyone is using the web client, Hangouts Chrome extension, or mobile app. Regardless of all of this, it’s nearly impossible to start a group hangout. (Please show me what I’m missing — it must be obvious.)

As usual in situations like this, I look for a way to understand how the Hangouts software is designed to find a “loophole” or similar to achieve what I want. And I found a VERY simple solution.

Here’s how you start a Google Hangout with a link

Simply click here to start a Google Hangout. The link is very simple, and creates a new group hangout automatically (if you are logged in). This is the link:

https://plus.google.com/hangouts/_

The underscore is not a typo. It’s the magic that creates a new room for you. Remove the underscore, and you’re forced to navigate all the confusing options around Hangouts, none of which will give you a link to send to people. (Again, please show me what I’m missing.)

After clicking the link, copy the automatically-generated URL from your browser address bar and share it with your friends or co-workers.

Enjoy your Hangout!

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