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One of my friends insists that I should use Google Hangouts because it's so much better than Skype. I would like to give it a try, but I wouldn't like to create a Google+ profile for that. Is there any way (some website or URL hack, Android application, some third party desktop software that hacks it's way into the system) to try it without creating a profile?

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Try it with a completely fake profile. If your concern is privacy, then that's a solution. If your concern is the time it takes, then just creating a new account is a lot shorter than logging onto StackExchange, posting a question, reviewing the answers and taking action on those answers. –  Alex In Paris Mar 15 '12 at 13:10
    
Right. My only problem with that solution is, that I think I'll find it good, and I would probably want to use it in the future too. But I probably won't find it good enough to make a profile for it. (And yes, privacy is my concern.) –  ytg Mar 15 '12 at 20:21
    
It's not possible to use Hangouts without a Google+ profile. To create that profile you need to go through phone verification. So if you're worried about privacy, forget it. –  gtirloni Jul 6 '13 at 17:07
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5 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you're concerned about your privacy, create a fake profile - name it something your friends would recognize or even the opposite of what your friends would recognize or random letters.

In the end, creating the profile isn't a big deal and it gets you better access to your friends: pretty good payoff.

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I'm not sure if this is a feature that has been introduced in the year since the question was asked, but it appears that you can use a limited version without a Google+ account via Gmail chat according to this support article:

If you don’t have a Google+ account you can start or join a limited hangout, which only includes the option to hang out with 1 other person. If you’d like access to all Hangouts’ features including the ability to hang out with up to 9 people, share your screen, and use cool Hangouts’ apps, you can upgrade to a free Google+ account

This sounds similar to what Korey has encountered and what Freedom tried to suggest.

This answer presumes you have GMail/Google account, but not a Google+ one. Unfortunately Google seem to be closing off their systems, highlighted by the discontinuation of XMPP support.

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It appears Hangouts on my Android phone works without a Google+ account, but many features such as photo sharing are disabled.

Hangouts for Chrome browser extension insists on creating a Google+ account.

Things could change. I do not like how Google is pushing all users to Google+.

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I don't think so. You have to have a Google+ account to join hangouts!! Update: But you can use a limited version. For more information John C's answer.

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-1. No longer always true. See John C's answer to this question. I wonder if you could please delete your answer, since it's obsolete? –  unforgettableid Aug 14 '13 at 22:58
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Its not necessary to join Google+ You can use Hangouts video chat 1on1 with regular Google account Joining Google+ you get up to 9 people in video chat

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