It’s no secret that any company in mobile and on the Web wants you to become a member in order to have access to its services. Most sites refuse to let you engage in their services without membership, and they do so in order to pull you into whatever it is that they’re offering. The same can be said for Google and Google Hangouts. The search engine giant set up its own video chat service to be exclusive to Hangouts members, forcing users to join the service if they wanted to chat with friends, family, and colleagues.
Well, well, we now have an interesting turn of events. Google is now allowing non-Google Hangouts users access to the service. This new feature works as follows: non-Google Hangouts persons will be given a link and must supply their name and request to join the chat. Once they do, the Google Hangouts member will approve the request and the non-Google user will be connected to the Google Hangouts chat.
Google’s decision to allow non-Google users to access Google Hangouts shows the decentralization that is now taking place with the search engine giant’s services. Google has been relaxing the rules with its social network, Google+, allowing users to provide pseudonyms, nicknames, or aliases in order to conceal their identities online. Google Photos has been decentralized, allowing users to use the app separately from Google+ — and allowing users to access Google’s unlimited photo cloud storage without a Google+ account. The decentralization of Google Hangouts is another move by the company to make its services more accepted and adopted by users who don’t want to join Google’s services but may be willing to try them without an account.
Google has also made some changes to Google+ this week, hoping to revive the “ghost town” social network and bring more users into the fold. These new decentralizing changes are not what the company wanted initially; its long-term emphasis upon joining and membership in order to have access to services is what the search engine giant planned. Unfortunately, with few users giving in to Google’s high demands for access, Mountain View now finds itself in a position in which it is forced to negotiate with non-member users who don’t want to fill out forms and sign up for services that they won’t use or care for long-term. With that said, prepare to invite your non-Google-loving friends to chat with you on Google Hangouts. Perhaps the new demand rollback may win them over.