Friday July 1, 2011 1:28 pm
People having a tough time getting a Google+ invite
When Google announced its "field trial" of Google+ this week, many wondered if the search giant had finally crafted a successful social tool or whether it would fizzle like Buzz and Wave. That remains to be seen, but at this point, it appears that many tech-savvy early adopters are at least eager to try it out: invites are now closed.
"We've shut down invite mechanism for the night. Insane demand. We need to do this carefully, and in a controlled way. Thank you all for your interest!" Vic Gundotra, Google's senior vice president of engineering, wrote in Wednesday night post.
Google+ made its debut on Tuesday and aims to connect people via specific friendship circles, interests, location, and more. Those visiting the plus.google.com Web site are currently met with a notice that says Google is "testing with a small number of people," but those who want access can sign up to get an email when it opens to a larger group.
Even those who have been invited, however, are having trouble getting access. "Already invited? We've temporarily exceeded our capacity. Please try again soon," reads a note on the site.
For those already inside Google+, meanwhile, Gundotra stressed that users can step away at any time. "For any who wish to leave, please remember you can always exit and take your data with you by using Google Takeout. It's your data, your relationships, your identity," he said.
Google ran into some privacy issues with its Buzz social-networking tool because it did not adequately explain how a users' information would be shared. After complaints and a class-action suit, the company reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission in March that requires the search giant to develop a comprehensive privacy program and submit to regular audits of its privacy policies.
As for the success of Google+, the search giant appears to be taking the Gmail route. When it debuted years ago, Gmail was a closed service to which users had to be invited. A Gmail invite was a hot commodity at the time; could a Google+ invite develop the same type of buzz? Before they were shut down, many a Google fan took to Twitter to ask friends for an invite. Of course, at this point, the majority of those using Google+ are tech journalists and other insiders, so it's anyone's guess if this will become as popular as Gmail—or Facebook, for that matter. As PCMag noted in a hands on, "simply put, Google+ is a social network for geeks."
For more, see our Google+ review.
This article, written by Chloe Albanesius, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.