Social media junkies pining for an invite to try out Google+ will have to wait a little bit longer. Google decided to temporarily stop inviting users to join its new social network less than two days after it launched the service. What gives? “Insane demand. We want to do this carefully, and in a controlled way,” a Google engineering executive said in a Google+ post on Wednesday night. A company spokeswoman contacted by Reuters declined to say whether the company had resumed invites on Thursday.
Reviews of Google+ are starting to filter in from those who’ve been lucky enough to get an invite. The general consensus seems to be that it’s a lot like Facebook and that it is an improvement over Google’s past social media efforts, Buzz and Wave. ZDNet rounds up five things it loves about the new service. The Guardian pans the desktop version, but gives the mobile platform a thumbs up. PCWorld says it’s no Facebook. Wired calls its approach to privacy a “pretty good start”. And CNN explores one of its most distinctive features: video conferencing.
Meanwhile, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told reporters on Thursday his company is planning to unveil an “awesome” new feature next week. Details were scant, but tech blogs have speculated in recent weeks about new mobile products in development at Facebook. Could it be the long-awaited iPad app? Or a dedicated photo-sharing app? Or, as tech blog GigaOm founder Om Malik joked on Twitter, is it just an attempt by Zuckerberg to divert attention away from Google+?
Big-name private equity firms have been scouring tech powerhouse Hewlett-Packard for cracks in the hopes they’ll get to scoop up some of its assets, arguing the world’s No.1 PC maker is stretched too thin, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters correspondents Nadia Damouni and Poornima Gupta.
Skype, the Internet video calling service recently bought by Microsoft for a hefty $8.5 billion, rolled out service to users of Android phones on Thursday. The service will let Android users make free video calls to Skype contacts, including those on Apple iPhones.