If I told you last week that invites for a Google-based social network would be popular and exclusive enough to warrant several hundred eBay listings, would you believe me?
Well, it’s true. The online auction site currently has 255 listings for invites to Google+, a social-networking project Google unveiled earlier this week. The service is now in a “field trial,” so those using it are mostly tech journalists, techies with a connection, or the select few who nabbed an invite before Google shut them down due to demand.
Before you think you’re going to get rich by selling your Google+ invite, though, most of the listings are currently going for less than $5. One seller even has 31 separate listings for Google+ invites, with people bidding between $2 to $4.13.
When asked if this would actually work, given that invites are sent to specific email addresses, a Google spokesman said he was unsure. But if you’re truly desperate to play around with Google+, it appears you’d only be out several dollars if you go the eBay route. EBay did not immediately respond to questions about whether the sales ran afoul of any eBay terms.
Why can’t you get an invite through Google? Perhaps learning from its Buzz debacle, the company said it would roll out Google+ in a more controlled fashion.
“We’ve shut down invite mechanism for the night. Insane demand. We need to do this carefully, and in a controlled way. Thank you all for your interest!” Vic Gundotra, Google’s senior vice president of engineering, wrote in Wednesday night post on his Google+ profile.