When you get a message from a stranger on the internet, you might be suspicious and rightfully so. However sometimes it might be a friend or co-worker that you don’t have on social media yet, so it isn’t always a dangerous or fishy situation. That being said, one of the ways Google has been managing such messages is through invitations.
Basically if someone you don’t know messages you on Hangouts, an invite would pop up asking to chat, meaning that if it is really someone you don’t know or suspect might be a bot, you just ignore it. However in a recent update to the Hangouts app for Android, Google has introduced a new feature in the form of customized invites.
What this does is that it lets users choose who can send them invites. As you can see in the screenshot above, there are several options to choose from, kind of like filters. For starters you can choose custom settings for people who have your phone number or who might know your email.
The settings include being able to contact you directly without an invite needed, send an invite which is the default setting, or not being able to contact you at all which is a good option if you’re particular about who you chat with on the internet. The feature is expected to be live in the current Hangouts app so head on over to the app’s settings to check it out.