Google+ is getting a new experimental feature, which lets you send private messages to other users inside of Hangouts.
The feature is the product of Google interns Mairin Chesney and Anthony Tordillos, who announced the update in a Google+ post this morning. Tordillos wrote:
Back at school, we’re almost always paying full attention to the professor. No, really. We mean it! (Hi, Mom! :)). But once in a while… a private note gets passed. Not by us, mind you. We just noticed other folks doing it. We had the thought, “Hangouts need private messages!” So that’s what we did!
Now you don’t have to pass secret notes under the desk. If you’re in a Hangout with a group of people, but you want to make a comment to just one of them, simply type “/to [their name] [your message]”. You don’t need to type their full name, just enough so that it’s not ambiguous who you mean. Type “/users” to see the nicknames you can use for each person in the Hangout.
This week, Google also launched an update for its Android and iOS apps, enabling teenagers to create and join hangouts from mobile devices, and for people to join Hangouts On Air from mobile devices.