Google+ temporarily reopens invitations
To double the current base of users on the Google+ social platform, Google has reactivated their invitations functions. The service was temporarily reactive after Facebook publically criticised it.
Barely a week after the launch of their social platform through the use of invitations, Google+ was confronted with a problem of "insane demand" according to Vic Gundotra, manager of Google’s engineering division. Stating that they want to "move forward with caution and maintain control", a decision to allow no new invitations was made.
This block has now been temporarily lifted. What has been presented as a "short period", invitations will once again be available to members already subscribed to Google+ to allow them to invite other friends.
The system is rather temperamental though, with Google changing between invitations being open and closed. Google has likely recognised a few bottlenecks and Vic Gundotra has requested users to be patient. Massive numbers of invitations will also not be accepted.
Google engineer Dave Besbris explains that the aim is to double the number of test users currently on Google+, although he has refused to communicate how many this is. These users are testing the system after Google’s internal tests to get valuable feedback from users about the interface and experience in addition to bugs which need fixing before the full launch. Could this launch take place at the end of July?
Even without the general public launch, Google+ is certainly getting media coverage with everyone wondering if Google may have finally found a way to compete with Facebook after the failures of Buzz and Wave.
Facebook vs. Google+
Yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and co-founder of Facebook, announced the social network had reached 750 million members. In the presence of Tony Bates, CEO of Skype, he inaugurated video chat which will be deployed over the coming weeks.
A video call will now be possible using the Skype technology via a browser plug-in (no need to subscribe to Skype), with this a counter move against Google+’s Hangouts. Facebook hasn’t been very clear about how video chat will be adapted to the mobile environment though, but this is surely a detail that won’t pass them by. Google+ has instead preferred to phase in new web technologies to avoid having third party plug-in.
While it can be wondered whether a partnership with Skype is a good strategic choice for the IP telephony company purchased by Microsoft (there is a risk that the service will lose users even thogh a mini Skype client will be integrated into Facebook), Mark Zuckerberg didn’t hesitate in taking a few swipes at Google.
Talking about "large companies" that want to do everything themselves, he declared that Facebook is happy enough leaving other companies develop the new applications which can be integrated into Facebook’s services. We know that Facebook is looking to be able to offer their members social experiences based around music, films and entertainment by allowing specialists to develop content for the social platform. This will surely be the subject of a future announcement.
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