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Hello Hangouts users!

I'm excited to announce that today we have launched a new dense mode for Hangouts. You can access the new mode by going into the settings and choosing "Use dense roster". It will remove avatars and recent messages to give you a more condensed view of your conversations.

Enjoy!
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Jessi Mon'e's profile photoJordanna Chord's profile photoGreg Miernicki's profile photoSage LaTorra's profile photo
48 comments
 
The Hangouts team is just killing it with these highly anticipated features 
 
But we still don't have basic sorting options. I'm sure someone out there will be happy about this.
 
No this is not a joke I saw it yesterday trying to figure out what it was 
 
Nifty, but sure would be nice to get some major features like
- Chat invitation links
- Voice messaging (PTT)
- Video messaging for Android (been on iOS forever)
- Searching for Hangouts (by name or members)
- Hangout history search
- Pinned/favorite hangouts at top
 
+Michael Johnson pinned/favorites on top is available in the contacts tab (in gmail, click the people icon at the bottom of the roster).

Dense mode is not even the main thing we're working on...
 
+Michael Johnson let's not forget:
- Reactions
- Ability to edit previous messages (like G+)
- Hangout Moderation (kick users / ops)
- Bots
- etc...
 
+Michael Johnson +Greg Miernicki thanks for the feedback. We're looking really carefully at the things our users want, and hearing stuff like this helps inform what we're working on. Like I said, dense mode is a very very small part of what we're doing, and hearing feedback like this helps guide what we'll do next. Stay tuned for more.
 
+Sage LaTorra okay, I'll edit my comment to be less of an a-hole, I obviously know the Hangouts teams are working on much bigger things than "dense mode", but man, it really seems like if Google wanted, they could make a dream chat app, but just haven't taken it very seriously. Also, pinned chats would be nice for all clients. Why can't we have feature parity across platforms? Makes no sense. 
 
+Michael Johnson no need to edit, your comment is totally on-base. We like to hear what our users want, because we're working to make Hangouts better and that means listening to what our users want.

I think we may yet be able to make Hangouts fit into your dreams a little more.
 
+Sage LaTorra​​​ appreciate that you guys are listening, but to be honest... people have been complaining about HO's lack of moderation capability for years. So much so, in fact, I can't think of anything else that I've heard more complaints about in HO. When someone invites the wrong person in to a HO of 25+ people and that one person won't leave willingly... having to start a new HO and lose all photo/text history is kind of ridiculous at this point in HO's lifespan.

More to the point of user feedback at Google (since they are a data-driven company) why don't they have a better web based tool to gather user feedback on their products? If they came up with something like https://www.uservoice.com/ and allowed users to request (and vote on) features for each/every one of their products, I can't imagine how useful that would be to G product managers in terms of figuring out how to plan product feature roadmaps / strategies. I pray to God that Google has something like this internally already... if not... perhaps a worthy 20% project? 😉
 
+Sage LaTorra​ to be completely honest, I've used both of those means to submit countless feedback requests in the past and I've never really gotten the sense that I was being listened to at all. The most success I've had in this regard has been with filing feature requests on http://crbug.com for Chromium. As a user, the tools you mention leave the feedback process completely opaque to users in general. Tools like uservoice make what is being requested, what is trending, and what is being ignored very transparent. The fact that a user can see this data in my opinion fosters users to submit even more feedback. For a company that relies on transparency as much as Google does with its myriad of open source projects, they should really consider centralizing this channel of information aggregation much like how they have already done by centralizing product help on http://support.google.com 🐒http://feedback.google.com FTW !!
 
+Greg Miernicki perhaps I can lend some transparency to the process: in-app feedback and product forums have real humans reading them to help aggregate key issues, make the case for important features, and get immediate attention on critical issues. Just today I've personally spent some time arguing for a feature based on how many external users requested it, investigating https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/hangouts/B_qjuZJDO_8, and correlating some internal feedback with external feedback to get a clearer big picture.

I hope that some of the things we've got coming will show we're listening. :)
 
It's still less dense than gTalk was, but progress is progress.
 
When will Google Hangout work out of the box in Opera and FireFox with no need for Plug In's (Including Screen Sharing).
 
+Benjamin Kramer switch to the contacts tab in gmail. First pinned, then ordered by online, then by alpha. Most recent is the conversations tab. Switch between them using the switcher at the bottom of Hangouts.
 
+Sage LaTorra Ok, that's a roundabout, unintuitive way of doing it that doesn't seem to apply everywhere. Those options don't exist in the G+ or Inbox interface. And they don't affect the Conversation interface, which seems to be the most common interface available. It's a start, but it doesn't seem smart.
 
+Greg Miernicki could you tell me more about your case for superusers? Just for kick/ban? Does it have to be a single user?
 
+Sage LaTorra​ as I suggested in the Groups post, that would be the simplest case ~ one moderator per Hangout. I believe this is how WhatsApp does things, but I could be wrong... I've only setup WhatsApp on my wife's phone and used it once ;)

A group Hangout moderator in theory would be able to promote other members of the group Hangout to moderator status as well. So, there could be more than one moderator per group. If the group Hangout was a support channel for instance, having more than one moderator would allow 24-7 moderation. This would obviously be key if Hangouts allowed anyone to join a group text Hangout via publicly shared url (similar to Telegram). We can't yet do this either (share urls except for video Hangouts ~ another nice feature to have). Allowing anyone to find and join a group Hangout to me would seem to require a moderation feature. With this feature, businesses and companies could create public group Hangouts to provide direct support to their customers.

Kick/Ban would both be nice features to have, but to start off... just having the ability to kick a user is what people complain the most about in my experience. Although being able to ban a user by gmail/phone number/G+ handle would certainly close the loop completely so the user could not come back at all after being kicked. In the old IRC days, we banned people with something like /mode #channel +b ident@host for example. Very effective at moderating IRC channels with several hundred users :)

If I were the developer implementing this, I would start out as simple as possible (base case) and just permit a single moderator per group Hangout. The person who first started the group would be the super-user. If he/she left the group HO, the next oldest person would be auto-promoted to that role.

The reason I hear about this complaint so frequently is because I am in 10+ Hangouts with more than 30 people per group. We use Hangouts almost exclusively for these teams' realtime communications. The problem arises when someone leaves the team but fails to leave the Hangout on their own. Continuing to chat in this particular group Hangout becomes a security issue as important information begins to leak.

For example, myself and 30 others are in a group (31 total) and one user leaves the team. As I indicated before, the only solution today is to start a new group Hangout with myself and the other remaining 29 team members. Then to prompt them all to leave the former hangout. Of course this is a horrible solution being that we lose all the previous group Hangout's history and herding all the cattle around between HO's is less than optimal 😫
 
+Sage LaTorra In a reshare of this post that you made on your profile, on one of the comments you asked 'what is wrong with the Android app?'. With all due respect, if you seriously have to ask that question, there are bigger problems with the service in general. The app is bloated, terribly laggy even on a 6P (look at how quickly whatsapp opens vs Hangouts), and crashes left, right and centre. All other messaging apps (Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, even Telegram) have eaten Google's lunch, while Hangouts has lagged behind, both in terms of stability, as well as features. I remember every single time one of your team members comes back saying that just wait and see the features we are working on!, and nothing at all comes up. So I honestly do not believe you much when you say 'dense mode is not the only thing we are working on'. It has been years, and nothing at all has materialized from the Hangouts team. Just look at the first few comments on this very thread to get an idea of how people view this service. I still hope you guys will do something, but I am not very confident. 
 
+Manish Sahai I should have been clearer: I wanted to know what in particular bothered that person. If you want to know what I think is wrong with the app, I have my own list.

I think we may be able to win your confidence yet, but I can't talk about anything were working on. We are very focused on top user issues though, and I hope to have some updates to post here pretty soon. 
 
You guys shit all over the super active community that loved Public Hangouts and used them to make this a true networking tool, by ripping it away from them and destroying G+ integration.

Then you give us stupid shit like this? Fuck off. You guys don't know your users or your product, this whole division of Google has gone to shit since +Vic Gundotra left.
 
Pretty sure the only "dense" thing here, are the devs :p
 
+Jessi Mon'e what public Hangout flow are you missing? Right now you can start a hangout, grab the link, and share it as publicly as you like. Anybody can join 
 
The integration. Before, anyone could easily find a hangout via the hangouts section, I owe my entire career now to people I met that just hopped into random hangouts via finding them via G+'s Hangout section. That was thanks to integration. Now that the full integration is gone, hell even the #hangoutpost  hashtag has been scrapped, no one looks for them anymore. You invite to the people you already have and that already know you. You don't get random, meaningful interaction anymore.

Also, you can invite via circles anymore, which is another piece of integration that is sorely missed.

Here, check this post from just yesterday and all the people lamenting the fact that they are gone.

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+WillHiggins/posts/76MXA8eQ9gL

This place has never been a ghost town, and it never will be, but now all it is is another stream where people shit post stuff they find elsewhere on the internet without giving credit(myself included), they post their photography or their latest #SEO  blogpost. #Pixelpushing   #hashiestoftags  
It's stupid. Hangouts integration made this place fun.

If you actually care to hear more, I can tag in quite a few people that would love to explain their thoughts behind why G+ is just becoming another stream.

For me, as I said above, I owe my whole career to G+ and Public hangouts. I learned linux, networking and how to refine my programming, all through people that I met from beta and beyond. Now all I have is a subset of people that like to still hangout, and even that is dwindling. I can't make organic, natural friends in a stream the way I can through a video chat.
 
Thanks for the thoughts, +Jessi Mon'e. A lot of that seems to be on the G+ side, so I'll pass that along to those folks. 
 
Thanks dude, sorry if I'm coming off to hostile. I just owe a lot to these two tools working together and to see them ripped apart and siloed, it's sad.
 
+Sage LaTorra this is an excellent first step in the direction of the feature(s) I was talking about. I even pulled my iPhone out of the closet just so I could test it out! However as nine to five points out this could cause even more problems given that anyone can now kick out any one. I hope that a follow-up additional feature allowing the promotion to moderator will be implemented soon which would close this new hole that has been opened.
 
We're always working on more stuff. Stay tuned.
 
+Sage LaTorra​ as per the comments on +Jordanna Chord​'s post, those invited by the normal methods become group moderators and those who join by link are non-moderators? Why is there no visual indicator that shows who is and who isn't a mod? There should also be a Help page that describes how this new undocumented feature works! 🤓
 
+Jordanna Chord​​ EXCELLENT! That page explains really well how the moderation works. However, we still need a visual indicator in the participants list showing who is and who is not a moderator. 😇
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