Unless you haven’t had an Internet connection for the last 24 hours, you’re probably aware of Google+, Google’s new social networking service. Although the service is currently invite-only, more invites than expected have been sent, causing Google to temporarily disable new invites. Thankfully, there’s a smart way to still be able to send invites.
This method takes advantage of a hidden feature in the +Circles service, which allows invites to be sent to a list of email addresses of a user’s choosing. Pretty nifty, isn’t it? Here’s how to do it:
- Create a new circle named "invite" and add email addresses to it. Keep in mind that the people you’re adding must have GMail accounts.
- Create a post and assign it to the invite circle only. Be sure not to make it public to everyone, just members of the "invite" circle.
After following these steps, invites will be sent to all the users you’ve selected. Do it soon, since Google will likely spot this issue and fix it in a matter of hours. Until then, however, be sure to send invites to anyone you wish to send invites to, there seems to be no cap on the number of invites that can be sent by this method.
This isn’t the first loophole found in Google+. Earlier today, a bug was reported that allowed private posts to be broadcast publicly using the "reshare" feature, similar to Twitter’s "retweet" function. Google has already acknowledged the problem and made it clear that a problem like this won’t be in place once Google+ is widely available.
Google+ is Google’s newest social networking endeavor, after the company’s two last attempts, Buzz and Wave, have been an embarrassing failure. The new service is partly a marketing ploy and partly a combination of great ideas from other social networks with Google’s twist. Google+ is being promoted as a friendly social network built around how human interaction is supposed to be: natural and not constrained by inefficient technology. Based on the enthusiasm the social network has received from the media, Google is definitely on the right track to make this a hit, although it’s too early to tell.
Next time someone asks you for an invite, just add them to a circle and let them be part of the experience.