Google Plus Tutorials – Google+ Messenger

Google Plus recently renamed renamed Huddle to Google+ Messenger and also added photo sharing ability to the same to make it more interactive. But it is seen that most people are still confused on how to use this feature as they do not see this on their Google+ browser screen. So, I am writing his Google Plus Tutorial to clarify any such doubts.

At first, I would like to clarify that Google+ Messenger is mainly suited to Android Phones though you can also use it through gmail for replying back to chat initiated on an Android phone. Email option would probably not be activated by default in your Google+ account but you can activate it from your G+ settings. However, if you are looking for a normal Messenger icon inside your Google+ account then you would not find it and that is where most people are confused. In layman’s words, Google+ Messenger is an advanced chat or text application which allows you to group chat with a bunch of friends on your Android mobile phone and optionally through gmail. The official summary mentioned on the Google+ website explains it all:

Coordinating friends can be hard, especially if you’re trying to text a bunch of people at once. Messenger brings all those separate conversations into one simple group chat, so everyone is on the same page with no hassle.

Google+ Messenger for Email: This is the part where everyone seems to be confused and looking for answers and tutorials. Messenger will not give the best experience in a web browser because it is not meant for web browser usage as of now but you can nonetheless activate it in Gmail too by changing a few settings. To change the settings, click on the top right icon of your Google+ screen. You will see a drop-down where you can click on Google+ settings. Make sure the Google+ settings option is also chosen on the left sidebar. You will then find the option in notification settings on that page where you can choose if Google should email you when someone starts a conversation with you through Google+ Messenger. If you have a phone added, then the phone settings are enabled by default but it would probably not be checked for email. So, you need to check the email option too and save it. Further down, you will find an option on “Who can start a conversation with me” and you can either choose “Anyone”, “Circles” or “Extended Circles” for the same. That is all and you are ready to receive Google+ Messenger notifications in your Email if somebody starts a conversation with you. Please note that even if you activate the Messenger for Email, you cannot initiate a chat through messenger from inside your Gmail account. You can only receive a chat sent from a Google Plus smartphone app (android as of now) and reply to the conversation. So, as I mentioned earlier this feature is primarily meant for mobile web only and not for desktop use.

Photo credit:

Google+ Messenger for Android phones: Even in the mobile web, Google+ Messenger only works on Android phones as of now and does not work on any other mobile phone. So, first of all you would need an Android phone for using the messenger feature properly. The official Google+ app can be downloaded from the Android market here. Once it is downloaded and installed, you will see the green “Messenger” icon on the top right of the Google+ Android app screen. You need to click on that and you will be taken to the Google Plus Messenger screen. To start a conversation from messenger, select the circle you would like to have the conversation with or type the name of the person(s) with whom you would like to chat. For example, in the image above above it displays a conversation with the “college friends” circle. You can then type the message and click on send and it will be sent to everyone in that circle or to everyone whom you have selected. If you want to add photos to the conversation, then you can either take a photo or select photo to send to the messenger chat using the camera icon on the left bottom corner of your messenger screen. Your friends can reply back to you or the circle in the same way and thus the group conversation/chat goes ahead. So, irrespective of where you are or what you are doing right now, you can share every moment live with your friends and loved ones with in a single click. Google+ is also called the “real life social network” and messenger definitely justifies the same. 😉

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14 Responses to “Google Plus Tutorials – Google+ Messenger”

  1. Lance Spahr
    February 29, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    that is the worst idea ever! they should definantly just put messenger on the google+ desktop! i want to chat on both my ipod touch and my computer so that really sucks…

    • March 9, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

      Agree with your point Lance. The inability to use the messenger from a desktop was also a bit puzzling for me when G+ first started. Having said that, Google+ was modified since then and now, you can chat with most of your contacts from inside Google+ or inside your Gmail as in Google talk. So, that solves a part of the problem I suppose.

  2. Robert
    March 6, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    I don’t understand the reasoning either. Wouldn’t it make more sense to unify the applications? The desktop and mobile versions should have the same capabilities. By default, on the desktop, I’m given a notification that someone has sent me a message, but am not presented with any way to reply. What if I didn’t have a smartphone? I would have to go searching (as I just did) for a way to answer. This is an example of a non-intuitive interface and unexpected behavior. That is bad UI design at best, and lazy development at worst.

    • March 9, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

      Right Robert. A unification of the messenger on the two platforms viz. PC/desktop and mobile might make more sense. As you rightly mentioned, what if you did not have a smartphone. Maybe it might be a possibility in the future as Google+ has been constantly bringing on features and improvements since its launch.

  3. Loyd
    March 11, 2012 at 7:50 am #

    This is horrible. So I have half a conversation on my phone but when I get home I have to continue to use my phone while setting in front of my actual PC if I want to talk.

    Messenger needs to be built in to google plus website.

  4. ParkMonger
    March 12, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    Right…and then they wonder why people don’t switch from FB…
    At least I have a FB Messenger program on my desktop!!

  5. J
    April 3, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

    Wow. talk about serious oversight batman. I want to chat with people who have gmail from my phone. Gmail allows me to use voice and video. My Android allows me to use voice and video. Both are from Google but I can’t use one to easily talk to the other…


  6. J2
    April 10, 2012 at 2:24 am #

    @J – If your Android phone supports it – most current ones do now – you can video chat from Talk which is the same application as video chat in Gmail (using Google chat). They are one in the same. Yes, Messenger is different but Talk and Chat are the same.

  7. w
    April 22, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    So to solve the problem they shouldve never came up with google + messenger and just integrated google talk. Doesnt make any sense “to me” why they did this. other then that I feel google plus is better then facebook. just have to show everyone else the light

  8. johnnyG
    May 28, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    What are the default privacy settings for these conversations? if its editable where can you modify them?

  9. Ted Lawson
    June 2, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

    Product: Plus – Messenger


    I can’t find informations about the encryption .
    Is it safe to chat in an open WLAN ? Or is it possible to
    see the conversation with a packet-Logfile and a sniffer ?

  10. Jimmie
    June 8, 2012 at 7:26 am #

    This is absolutely ridiculous. Such a terrible product, and by the sounds of it they don’t listen to our input. We won’t take the garbage you try to ram down our throats just because your Google. So much for having the best and the brightest working for you, because this entire concept is flawed.

    How come Beluga messenger did exactly what you’re describing above but didn’t have any issues (other than being bought out by Facebook)?


    From market leader to market laggard, the story of Google.

  11. December 7, 2012 at 5:43 am #

    I would like to see G+ Messenger and Google Hangout merge…

  12. January 16, 2013 at 2:24 am #

    I wish there were a way to turn off Messenger. I see a few friends have ‘messaged’ me, but if I cannot interact via the smartphone and desktop, I’d rather turn this option off.

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