Improving Hangouts

Hey guys! I’m aware that we already had a Hangouts vs Events thread, but I’d like to specifically focus on Hangouts and gather ideas/encourage debate on how we can improve it as a feature.

Some of the biggest pain points mentioned for this particular feature are:

  • People are flaky
  • People don’t respond fast enough
  • People sometimes don’t respond at all
  • Notifications were wonky
  • Having a group in Hangouts ended up with no one saying anything inside + ensuing awkwardness
  • Spam/harassment “Hi bby”

Some suggestions I’ve come across are:

  • Limit the number of active Hangouts at a time (is 1 too restrictive? What’s a good number?)
  • Possibly lowering a user’s community score when they flake
  • Reporting feature
  • Preventing people with community score lower than 30/100% from becoming active
  • Incorporating reviews for Hangouts

Did I miss out anything? Do you have thoughts on any of these ideas or new ones we should consider? Discuss away!

if possible: the main purpose(s) of the hangout, with a filtering option to search.
Was that already there ? Only used hangouts on one trip years ago.

A few examples:

  • City/park walk
  • having a drink
  • going to restaurant

80% of males (not an exaggeration) I met up with on hangouts acted like our meeting was a date. Several made physical unasked for moves on me or a female friend i was with. Usually locals looking for travelling females.

Meeting up with females was usually great, but probably due to the above often no females on hangouts to meet.

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Was going to say the same as Eileen. Not sure how this could be rectified (I know we’ve discussed ways and it’s a lot to tackle) but it was my main problem with hangouts also.

This could have been an issue of the slow messaging service that hangouts provided. As long as messaging is instant it should be fine I would think!

Suggestion: what if when someone joins your hangout “Idea” you become a hangout “leader” and it prompts you to make a plan somehow? Kind of like a nudge that you need to take action after people have joined? And once an agreement is made over chat you could “Create a hangout” by choosing a time, place, and title for your hangout.

the hangout would then show up in a list of all happenings (along with other events) at a certain time and place (“now!“ Would be fine) and everyone in the hangout could be prompted to rsvp.

So this would mean the hangout information is only published to a bigger list of stuff that’s going on once a decision is made and people have RSVP’d.

It sounds formal but it would reduce confusion and maybe make things look more legit for travelers and other people unfamiliar with the social scene in that place. They could see hangouts appearing in real time in a larger list of what’s going on, or they could join a pool of people who want to come up with a different event/hangout idea.

Ah yes! We have discussed the possibility of having a “confirmation” or “lock in” after both parties have agreed to meet up. Being able to nudge the leader is a great idea!

We’d also be able to implement reviews better too :+1:t3:

I know this is not a solution to the root problem, but someone suggested this - would it be easier for you if you had a simple checkbox to state “I only want to be visible to users of the same gender”? Instead of having to fend off these weirdos all the time.

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I proposed this somewhere else, I’m just going to quote because it’s to long :sweat_smile:


I love the idea of making hangouts decidedly a (small) group feature! Not sure about the details, but when you start a hangout, we could just ask for the number of people it is intended for, and it would begin at 3.


Noo making groups doesn’t really help. Only if there are two guys and one girl are guys looking for dates put off. I have met guys on hang outs with another girl and both times he came onto either me or the other girl, and it was still clear that their goal was to meet foreign women. Also, if I ever start a chat with another girl we are always inundated with requests from men to join the chat. Not so much if there is already a guy in the chat. So clearly this isn’t Necessarily a turn off.

Alsoo it would make hangouts a pain to use as it is much harder to coordinate 3 people than 2. Plus there is often no more than one other girl available so if I only wanted to meet with the same sex then we wouldn’t be able to meet up. Smaller places there are often only 1 or 2 people in hangouts altogether. Most of my best experiences with hangouts have been just one on one, why should we ruin this because of others’ bad behaviour.

It just needs to be made clear somehow that it’s not allowed to use hangouts to find dates. As it is, nothing says you can’t do whatever you like once you’ve met someone, and no consequences are implied. And so people don’t feel comfortable reporting it, or even to get angry at the person, as it is technically allowed.

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Hey Kelly, yes this could be good sometimes to prevent from receiving a tonne of private messages, but like Aleja has said, believe it or not we also enjoy the company of men and would like to to be able to do this without extra expectations :sweat_smile:. So this shouldn’t replace addressing of the actual problem :slight_smile:

^Although actually I just realised that probably a lot of women would like to have this as an option, especially for more conservative people.

In the old CS there was a 40 character limit for describing the hangout. I mean wtf?! Instead of requiring people to define a hangout in a single sentence shorter than a tweet, (eg: “I want to… hang out and grab coffee”) I think we should do this:

  • Have a short title with a longer character length (maybe 120 characters or something instead of 40?)
  • In addition to the main title of the hangout, let people provide a longer description of what exactly they have in mind
  • Alternatively (or in addition), give the option to let people use tags to indicate what kind of hangup it is so they can select the tags that fit. A few examples:
    • #group, #coffee, #tea, #hangout, #walking, #ice cream, #central park

This should at least make it easier for people to know what the hangout is all about.

I don’t think hangouts are defined as much by size as the spontaneity and flexibility of them. They are a last-minute, spontaneous meet-up. Some are planned, but most are not. In the past I’ve been in hangouts with 12 people who really didn’t have a plan at all; we just met up and made things up as we went along while we were exploring Toronto.


I wonder if this could be partially fixed by enforcing people to write a short intro that’s no shorter than a certain character count to deter those kind of low quality messages, rather than the current system where you press “say hello” (can’t remember the exact wording on the button?) to indicate you’re interested to hang out with someone.

The majority of women I met through this have said they get overwhelmed by lots of requests from men and having to deal with such level of spam seem like a turn off in using the feature alone.

This is definitely the next thing to fix for me! More often than not, new messages wouldn’t come through as a new notification and the chat didn’t seem to refresh even when new messages are available.


I like this. And I imagine someone on a city page looking for a cafe in a city, with a small box next to the map (or list of places) saying that XYZ is currently looking for a coffee company and you can join :slight_smile: The box could just look for hangouts with #coffee tag and show people’s hangouts with that tags, encouraging people to use the feature, even if they didn’t plan to while entering the page.

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Heard this from a lot of female CS’ers as well. Maybe we should built in a review system so after the hangout you can review (without reference) your hangout and mark it as dating purpose and that person will get a warning or suspended after two/three times marked? And his/her community score will drop as well.


I like this idea! I think it would be great to somehow integrate the review system into the hangouts functionality. It could get a little messy for big hangouts (eg: with 15+ , maybe you only interacted with a few of them) but if it is optional but easy to review this should improve the quality of hangouts.


So far I designed it that way that references for hangouts and hosting/surfing are exactly the same, not to confuse people with already pretty complicated rating system. The only difference from other reviews is that before reviewing you mark who finally showed up at the meeting. I think the core of the problem is rather feeling safe/comfortable than specifically dating. Guys who just want to get laid or pick up girls on hangouts will have the exactly the same risks of ruining their score like with hosting/surfing.

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Yeah, this is important. The review system should be the same, but there should be a mechanism that makes it easier and also encourages people to leave references after attending a hangout or event – as long as it makes sense to do so (obviously people shouldn’t leave a review if they only met the person in passing and didn’t even talk!)

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Great work! :smiley: Just wondering if it’s obligatory to leave a reference for a hangout? Don’t like to leave references for people which I just met 30 mins for example :see_no_evil:

People won’t be required to leave a reference in hangouts. We wouldn’t want people to leave a reference for someone they met in passing and barely know at all.

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