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Based on https://support.google.com/groups/answer/2465464?hl=en and my experience with the user interface just now, it appears that Google Groups restored the ability to directly add members to a group.

However, when I Googled for information about this, I found only articles about the removal of this ability in 2011. Is it really back? If so, did they explain why?

With Yahoo! groups not restoring this ability and groupspaces.com apparently going out of business, I'm once again looking for a new home for my groups.

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The option to directly add members to a group is indeed available again.

They had removed it due to spammers misusing the feature: http://groups-announcements.blogspot.com/2011/07/new-in-google-groups.html (July 2011)

Spam improvements: Starting next week, we will remove the option to “Add members directly” to googlegroups.com groups since spammers have unfortunately abused this feature. Group owners will still be able to invite you to join their groups and you will have to accept their invitation before you start participating in and receiving messages from the group. Learn more here: http://groups.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=46373

I guess they made the option available again due to user pressure and by introducing or strengthening the confirmation code to avoid spammy use.

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    But no announcement about it being reintroduced and no discussion on the web about it that shows up on a Google search? That's so odd. I'm a little leery about switching over at this point without some assurances that they're going to change their mind yet again. – Peter Alfvin Dec 17 '13 at 5:09
  • Yeah I wouldn't bet on any feature' perennity. I agree it is odd we cannot easily find some announcement. – Franck Dernoncourt Dec 17 '13 at 5:38

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