Google has been taunting its geeky fanbase with its on-and-off invite option; some of us were lucky and had invites when it was first launched; most of us had gotten in through the "backdoor method" (sharing photos or links with someone's email, and then getting them to click on Learn More about Google+ when the email account alert gets in). It seems like at 9:56am today, Google announced that they were reopening the invites in a few minutes, and based on tweets that have been circulating around. the news got out pretty quickly:
Google - As Engineering Director of Google+, I wanted to take a moment to explain why we're growing the system slowly. First, we want to make sure our infrastructure scales so the service remains fast and reliable. Second, we want to ensure that bugs are fixed while there are still a relatively few people in the field trial. Things are going well with the systems right now so we feel comfortable enough to open up invites for a brief period. Our goal is to double the user base in the field trial. (Sorry, we're not giving details about how many folks are in the field trial yet).
So, in a few minutes, we'll open up invites again. We continue to throttle invites, so please don't mass invite folks as it won't work. If you invite a handful of your most important friends and family you're much more likely to get these folks into our system..
The invite option has also been officially added to the Homepage:
Concrete information is pretty scarce at the moment, and there's no official word on how many invites you can send out, or when it will close. Users who have been invited, head down to activate your account here. It is definitely a step forward in moving towards expanding Google+ and making further tweaks to the social network along the way based on user feedback. But with Facebook's announcement on Skype's video chat integration with Facebook just freshly out of the oven, it does come across as a supposed move to fight off the social networking giant.
For the full story, click here.
To read more about our initial thoughts on Google+, click here.
To read about Skype's video chat integration with Facebook, click here.
Update: And once again, the invite mechanism has been shut down. If you've missed the earlier wave, looks like you'll have to wait a while more.