Hangouts vs. Events

Very good points made by Thessalo which make me realize how many parameters we have to deal with, and also how it is not just about offering a good solution.

Society has changed, hence the behaviors and expectations of the users. The Pick-Up Artists movement hadn’t exploded yet. Airbnb was non existent. So were dating apps. Facebook was not so empowering and we were not yet “Picture focused” as we became after Instagram. At his peak, I also believe a few CS users even owned a smartphone.

We can dig in our memories to look for the best, but most of those fragments are outdated, and the best solutions have probably yet to be found…

I don’t think it should prevent us for going forward though, because the answers might come later, after several iterations


Perhaps we can push for references about people you meet on hangouts, too. Or just a short Q&A about your experience with the attending members (without judging their answer, just gathering data).

“How was your hangout with x?”
-They did not show up
-It was fun/comfortable
-It was not comfortable

The we could put that data toward community standing?


Good point. If we’re going to make community standing a useful measurement, we’re going to have to encourage more references around the board while also making it a really easy process.

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Personally prefer events as @Emily mentions, they’re safer and gives a better community feeling. We always joke with other CS’ers that Hangout became a Tinder light, so that says enough :wink:

People use hangout to get references as well, experienced this in India a lot of times. As well that they pressure each other to give a reference after a meeting. So don’t think in general it’s a good idea to leave references for events or hangouts.

Sometimes you meet somebody for just 30 mins and you just have a small impression of that person, never felt the need to leave a reference since that reference would have not much meaning and might give a false impression of the person to other people of the community.

I was going on Meetup today, to check if anything was happening around. I thought it kinda works.

Why don’t we integrate links to Meetup in our app, instead of reinventing the wheel? We could take an advantage of products that have been refined along the years and focus on developing what’s not existing.

What are you thoughts?

@fabien Although I think it’s important that we host events ourselves. We can tailor the service to what community organisers want, and also a key part of our safety strategy is making sure that users are accountable to their actions via a good reference system. If we open up events to the public, it’ll undermine trust in events because people attending won’t be users.


Thats true Itsi, but from business point of view allowing events to be seen in other platforms such as meetup etc, will grow user base here faster. Its a difficult decision I guess. Slow growth with more truth and human-centered or based on platforms and apps going faster?
Servas is the more ‘‘trusted’’ hospex maybe cause it interviews (i went throught an internview succesfully but then i decided not to be part of ANY hospex…), with very long interviews My interview took many emails, skype meetings with an old trusted member and so forth. They just wanted to talk about my experience if any in hosting in other networks and see my face in skype (not faceless videoconference allowed) and altho i was talking to one member, 2 more were involved in email, so they really take a new member through an ordeal of interviews but thats cause they dont want to end up like couchsurfing where its riddelled with people unrleated to travel or nomadic lifestyle, but only join the app as ‘‘dating’’ app. I guess this process keeps servas not a dating platform as its also very rudimentary, just focused on hosting verified old and new members. Verified as you suggest by HUMAN interview, discussion and a feel of community around every new member. When i went over 2 weeks the itnerview process i was then invited to meet up in real life with a local member (a couple living near me) they even suggested they travel the 20 km just to meet up with me and welcome me to Servas. Im not saying you should copy that but it made me feel more safe already because of their interview process and the will of a local member /s to meet up shortly after I joined. This is very crucial maybe (meeting up with a local older member) so you need ‘‘ambassadors’’ but maybe call them something else as copying couchsurfing is not IMHO a good idea, in their '‘slang’ of speech.

I didn’t read everything in this discussion, sorry.

Just want to share my view, which is: don’t limit.
Leave all possibilities open, but make them transparent.
Even if people want to use hangouts as a dating app, why not ?
Just make sure everyone’s intention is VISIBLE, or at least that there the chance to make it visible.

There is always the rating or review thing discussed in here.
But I would not punish (or at least the minimum), rather just make things visible and encourage acceptable behavior.

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I found Hangouts great when traveling and useful for drinks/dinner meetups.

Events suffered tremendously over the years from professional event promoters, many of whom were paid to bring live bodies into the venues. They plagued the platform. As did previously-deactivated users who mostly were promoters and/or creepers and repeatedly squirmed their way into events to do all the usual things we don’t want to see on hospex platforms.

Either make it clear that promoters have to pay to be on the platform (and derive some revenue from that) or make it crystal-clear from Day One they will be booted from the platform.


I liked Hangouts on cs, but would argue here against them for two reasons:
i would see community building as a priority and think a feature like hangouts rather take away focus
i would assume it requires a responsive chat on mobile and that might take up quite some technical resources if it’s also a goal to be open source.

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I will have to strongly disagree on this.
Community is built and sustained localy, so travelers find an environment they can insert themselves on.
I’ve met through hangouts plenty of fellow locals, let’s say I want to go to X place or events and my friends don’t like it, I’ll open it and see if someone wants to tag along. I’ve met plenty of like-minded local people like this, many of them have became good friends. And, in the long run, that helps making events successful: you see this friend is attending, or this person you met that was really fun, so you attend too. In the weekly meeting in my city half of the people attending are friends or people you already met, that drops by to say hi because they know that, even if no travelers showed up they will hang out with people they have fun with :slight_smile:

Edit to add : I do agree there should be a way to get rid of the guys that leave the hangout if you accept someone else, and of the lurkers. Not sure if this is a local phenomenon but there’s a bunch of people that arebin hangouts every time you open it, that send request to everyone and join every hangout group but never ever showed up, not even once in years. Is creepy and defeates the purpose of the feature: people get tired of getting requests that lead nowhere and stop using it.


Oh it’s not a local thing. Happened to me in every place I’ve lived since the feature came out. If you regularly look at hangouts you’ll see the same dudes day in and day out in plenty of locations, and I even got some of them to show up for an event once before they went back to their old ways. I’m still not sure to this day what motivates people to just hang out… on hangouts…

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I really really strongly think each user should only be limited to one or two ongoing hangouts. This converts the notion of a “chat” into more of an event. Creepy weirdos won’t be able to spam the join button on every female too. Can I hear some opposing viewpoints to this? How did you guys use Hangouts - join every one and hope one sticks, or just try a few at a time?


I prefer both i don’t think we should exclude one or the other. Personally I’ve met some really interesting people with hangouts at my hometown and outside when travelling. But i would suggest to put a rating system for hangouts like how friendly someone was etc so we can feel more safe and minimise creeps :joy:

I agree, hangouts are meant to lead to real life hangouts, and you can’t be in more than one place at once!


I think this approach could work, but a few things need to be thought through.

For instance I’m sure we’ve all had multiple experiences of there being two main hangouts with 60% the same people and only one of them is active. If you were only able to pick one, you might enter the ‘dead’ one. Perhaps if we included the ability to merge hangouts, it would eliminate that problem.

We also don’t want to punish people for others being flakey and non-responsive, which is quite common. Perhaps if you are arranging something and the other person becomes non-responsive, you can have the option to leave that hangout, while leaving a note indicating for the next x hours which hangout you’re currently in, so if the other person wants to join you, they just click a button and join the same hangout.


A lot of it depends on the size of the city you live in.

Hangout is good for small cities but it’s pretty bad for large cities where it could take 1 to 2 hours to get across on public transport.

Hangout is good for places where the weather cannot be predicted well in advance such as many places in Europe or even Melbourne where they have a saying - 4 seasons in 1 day.

However when you have an amazing Event Organiser - events can be wonderful

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This is a good point. I wonder if it would be better to localise hangouts to a specific distance away. e.g. Show hangouts in within 5km. And that’s something you can select yourself

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As a solo traveler I personally like both equally! They have different objectives and can be equally useful depending on what you wanna do/where you are.

Been to many situations where I needed someone to attend an event with, go for a coffee or explore the city together and the Hangout was decisive. As well as having Events available to attend and look forward to can be of extreme importance when traveling solo and having the chance to socialize with locals and other travelers.

Being an Events ambassador for Dublin, in Ireland, I can testify that both features can also complement each other, as sometimes people are shy to arrive at places by themselves and before joining the Events they arrange with someone else through Hangouts to pop by together at the event.

I skimmed through some other comments and have to agree that sometimes some private promoters take over the Events tab and it can be quite annoying and make people give up on using it. Agree that some limitations should be added when that sort of behavior comes up, but that shouldn’t prevent at all this tool from being added to the platform here. I’ve been to some unforgettable events - like having 300 CSrs at Copacabana beach in Rio and being able to meet 70 people on a (!) Monday night in Rome! Also, in Dublin, we would have some 40 to 50 people gathered every single Friday night, sometimes way more, and that in many weekends could be the nicest thing most people would do (and I’m sure the same happened in lots of other cities).

In anyway, I made some of my best friends and met wonderful people in both ways and would love to count on both if possible.


I used both of them but, lately, in many places in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, there were no events and by using hangouts I was able to connect easily to on-the-road travelers like me, who were moving quite fast from place to place.

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