Last week, Google launched its latest attack on the social networking world with Google+. It was first released to a select group of people who had been given invites. These people could then invite others and so on. However, every so often, even people with invites would be prevented from joining due to “insane demand”.
Now, given the flops that were Google Buzz and Google wave, they might well have underestimated people’s hunger for an invite. Somehow though, I think Google knew full well there would be a lot of initial demand for access to the site.
Every salesman knows that to make someone really want something, you take it away from them. This is precisely what Google did from the second they announced Google+.
The majority of the public did not have an invite so on visiting the website was faced with this message:
“Right now, we’re testing with a small number of people, but it won’t be long before the Google+ project is ready for everyone. Leave us your email address and we’ll make sure you’re the first to know when we’re ready to invite more people.”
Sounds good, but with no indication of how long this would take the message takes you back to the feeling of being last picked at school. Then, for those using Facebook, Twitter or following forums, people began to report the ability of those already using the service to send out invites. This led to a lot of hunting around for someone already using Google+ and then persuading them to send out an invite. However, even after all of this, people experienced another issue – a message that the service had temporarily exceeded capacity.
If Google really wanted Plus to launch as a field test, they would have chosen the number of people to send invites to and left it as that until they were ready to open it up to everyone. Alternatively, they would have allowed each member a set number of invites to limit the speed of uptake.
Google knew from their past failures that the social network needed to prove itself very quickly and to do so, they would need users and demand from the off – after all, what is the point of a social network if no one you know is on it.
Within hours of launching the service a fantastic amount of buzz had been naturally created about Google+ and successfully made people want to have access to the service even more.
This combined with the fact that Google+ is much better than Buzz or Wave means that the newest social network on the block has been given a great platform to succeed.