All the cool kids are doing it-but not you
Google is playing coy when it comes to invitations to its new social networking site, Google+. And well, people seem to be getting a little frustrated with it.
This isn’t the first time
When Google rolled out Google Buzz and Google Wave and Google Voice, it did the same thing. It only invited a handful of people as a test. Then it gradually allowed those initial users to invite more people, and so on and so forth. This is likely because of the sheer demand they expect for their site. The only problem with their plan is that their previous invitation only sites turned out to be much ado over nothing. Buzz, Wave and even Voice, are still considered flops. People simply didn’t need them, like them or use them the way the company had hoped.
Slowly but surely
Gradually Google is rolling out invitations to Google+, and slowly word of the new site is beginning to spread. It is still unclear whether or not this new site the “Facebook killer” everyone keeps saying it is. For all we know (since I don’t have an invitation) it might just be another Google Buzz waiting to happen. And the other thing to consider is, what’s the use of a social networking site that isn’t open to everyone you know?
If you want to get on a waiting list, you can go to this Google page and sign up. A statement on that page says the reason for the delay is technical:
“We’re still ironing out a few kinks in Google +, so it’s not quite ready for everyone to climb aboard. But, if you want, we’ll let you know the minute the doors are open for real. Cool? Cool.”
Google has a mixed record, at best, of using the velvet-rope technique to drum up excitement about its products. One thing is clear: The invite-only technique does not guarantee a new website’s success.
Take Google Wave. The company generated tons of talk around this service in 2009, and when it launched for a certain in-crowd of testers, there was an online frenzy of people trying to get in. Some people, figuring they could cash in on this hysteria, actually were selling Wave invites on auction sites like eBay, according to Mashable, a blog that covers social media.
I was one of the lucky chosen ones to have an early invite to Wave — mostly because I wrote a profile of its founders.
But, as Duncan Geere notes over at Wired.com, being early to a party isn’t always great. There were so few people on Wave when I started that it was pretty much impossible to tell how that service would work in real life. I chatted on that service with the site’s founders more than any actual “friends.”
Geere puts this simply: “A social site becomes increasingly useful as more of your friends join up to it,” he writes.
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