Google+ has quickly skyrocketed to 25 million plus users, and invitations to join the coveted limited "Field Trial" of the Google social network are in high demand... or so I thought. They used to be at least. I expected a mad rush to take advantage of my repeated offers to invite readers, but demand has been tepid at best.
I have had a fairly steady trickle of requests via email, and I have probably invited 50 or so users to join Google+ by adding them one at a time. Google made it even easier, though, by providing Google+ users with a URL to use that others can click on and join the fun en masse.
The caveat is that the URL maxes at 150 invites. I posted my Google+ invitation link on Saturday afternoon and invited people to click while they could before the invites got snatched up. I shared it with 16,000 plus followers on Twitter, and more than 1,800 followers on Facebook. Crickets.
I reposted it a few times on Twitter. Many people have such busy stream of tweets that it is easy to miss things. Still, there is just very little interest. It is more than four days later, and as of now only 48 out of my 150 invites have been claimed. That means there are still 102 sitting there....waiting.
Maybe I need to offer a free copy of my 30 Days With Google Docs ebook to anyone who claims a Google+ invitation, or send a $5 Starbucks gift card out to anyone who joins? Maybe it's me--people want the invitations, but don't want to feel obligated to put me in their Circles or follow along as I write about Google+?
I don't really know what the issue is--I'll leave it to Google to figure out. All I know is that the rush to jump on the Google+ bandwagon seems to have subsided, and that nobody seems to be in a hurry to join the party any more.
I assume most--or at least many--are simply waiting for Google+ to move from invitation-only Field Trial to an actual social network available to the public before checking it out or investing any effort in it.
There is a lot to like about Google+, and getting to 25 million users so quickly certainly seems promising for the Google social network. But, it doesn't bode well if the excitement is already fading. Google needs to not only create a capable social network, but it needs to make that social network compelling enough to incite users to abandon established social networks like Facebook and make the switch to Google+.
Google+ is going to need critical mass to maintain momentum, and I don't think 25 million is enough to keep it going.