Google Hangouts is a convenient and user-friendly way to have a video call with clients, coworkers, or friends. These meetings can be easily recorded for playback later or to upload to YouTube. Of course, this video meeting software is designed to work with G Suite, Google’s suite of products that includes Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Calendar for business.
While you may be running G Suite for all your business needs, or maybe you just enjoy their Hangouts app, not everyone you need to chat or meet with will be a Google user. Google realized this and has made it possible for users of the other guys (Microsoft, Yahoo, etc.) to join your Hangouts. The process is pretty simple, really.
Google gives external users the ability to join a Hangouts call if the call is added to the Google calendar or someone already on the call invites them during the call. To make this process even simpler, all you have to do is supply the person you are wanting to have in the call, with the link. This way, as long as they have the link they can request access to your Hangouts call.
Having external users available for the calls in Hangouts has several advantages, including:
- External users can always request access to video calls using the meeting link. There’s no need for them to be invited, and there’s no need to have sharing manually enabled.
- It provides the best experience when using non-Google software to join Hangouts calls. Allowing guest to request access by default provides the best experience.
- Simplifies access to video calls when G Suite accounts are not provided to all users.
- Ensures all users in your company are allowed to request to join when being migrated.
Allowing external guests to join by default is an easy menu option that can be turned on before the Hangouts call gets underway. All you need is the link, then visit the menu:
- Sign-in to the Google Admin console
- Find apps, then click on G Suite, then Talk/Hangouts
- Click Global Settings
- Under Hangouts video calls, click All Classic Hangouts video calls begin with external guests allowed to request access…
The user only needs to click the link or put it into a browser, where they will be prompted to input their name when they click the link to request access. Google account not required.
IMPORTANT: Someone in your company must approve the external guest that is requesting access who is trying to get in through the link.
Inviting users without a G Suites account opens up a world of collaboration, but it also comes with a few restrictions. For example, external users are restricted to presenting and participating in the call, but cannot use text chat or other Hangout apps. External guests are able to join your Hangouts meeting from a PC, Mac, tablet, smartphone, or Chromebox.