Wave: Who gets Google’s ticket to ride?
It may be the hottest ticket in cyberspace.
On Wednesday, Google will invite more than 100,000 people to begin using Wave, its new hybrid messaging-social networking-online collaboration tool.
The version that will be available on Wednesday is a preview version that Google acknowledges is still not ready for prime time.
But scarcity is a powerful marketing tool (remember the prized Gmail invitations a few years ago?)
Google Wave was the third most popular topic of discussion on Twitter on Tuesday, with many Twitter users pleading for an invitation to become a Wave tester.
The initial 100,000 invites will go to developers, “select” paying customers of Google Apps and individuals who signed up early to test Wave.
But each Wave preview user will also get the privilege of “nominating” 8 other people to use Wave, since like any network-based service, Wave’s value and usefulness increases the more friends, family and colleagues are on-board.
A Google representative said the nominations are effectively the same as invitations – Google won’t actually render verdicts about which nominees are eligible or notto receive a Wave invitation. But it will “control the flow” of when nominees can begin using Wave to ensure that the service doesn’t get overloaded.
“We have to make sure the system will scale for the volume of people,” said Google spokeswoman Sara Jew-Lim.