What Is The Google Hangouts App?

Description: Google Hangouts is a messaging, video, and calling app. It allows users to connect with others from all over the world and all the calls to other Hangouts users are free (absent your carrier’s charges). There’s the option for group chats with up to 150 participants and the ability to include up to 10 people per video call.

Category: Social Networking

APP Store rating: 4 +

It’s super easy to connect, cheaply, with friends. Users are able to connect with already existing contacts from their devices or locate other users who might be acquaintances or following. They may also find individuals in communities on Google+, which the app is capable of linking to if it is downloaded. See Privacy below for links that help control who you connect with.

Deleting or turning off message history. You can delete an entire Google Hangouts conversation history with one person, but not individual messages in a history. This actually better than iMessage, where it’s possible to delete individual messages in a conversation string. If you’re in a group, one person can’t delete the history, but you can leave the group.

Is sexual content and/or nudity and crude humor possible?  If the user hasn’t set privacy correctly, then strangers can contact users directly. This App can easily be abused like any other messaging app, and monitoring usage is very difficult. It is not tied to a specific number, and anyone can create an account.

Privacy settings are critical. Users have three options: (1) contact me directly, (2) can send me an invitation, or (3) can’t send me invitations. We recommend that young users use the (3) setting until they graduate to the (2) setting.