Jul 272011

Slightly long story here, please feel free to ignore – the important bit is that you can get a G+ invite if you download the Google Plus Inviter app.

The longer story:
I was lucky enough to snag a G+ invite from a good friend a couple of weeks ago. I joined, had a little look around and that was that. I never use facebook, never used myspace, rarely use twitter and don’t generally have a lot of time for that kind of thing.

G+ is a little different though. Firstly, it integrates into gmail rather well. I get notifications when I’m on gmail of important things happening on G+, which makes it so much easier to use. I don’t have to log into G+ just for the sake of logging into G+, but can get on with my life and get told when something has happened that I might be interested in, which is nice.

So I figured, why not share the love? I put together a really simple app in App Inventor (which does unfortunately make it rather large for what it does, but I’m still working on figuring out Java and all that) that just asks for an email address, then emails that address to me so that I can send an invite when I get time. I stuck a simple logo on it and put it in the market.

8 hours later, I had something like 400 requests for invites. There’s no way I could keep up with that, so I figured a good way to limit it would be to add a price. I took down the free app and replaced it with a £1 one, and labelled it clearly as a temporary measure while I dealt with the backlog. I also figured it might be nice to have some sort of payment for spending hours sending invites.

Over the next 3 days I dealt with the backlog. In all that time, a grand total of 17 people decided the app was worth paying for, and of those 6 promptly returned it for a refund. I made a little under £8, which works out to about half an hour’s work at my current rate. At about this time, Google suspended the app, claiming that it broke their rules. I emailed them requesting clarification of how it broke the rules – was it because people had to pay, or because it was sending invites? Neither of which were against the rules as far as I can see, but I figured it had to be one of them, as there was nothing else that it did. Google replied with a canned response that didn’t actually answer my email, instead saying “We appreciate the opportunity to review your appeal regarding the suspension of “Google Plus Invite (urgent)” from Android Market. After an
investigation, we affirm our initial decision and will not be reinstating your application at this time.”

Never mind. Deciding that it was safest to not antagonise them, I didn’t put the free version of the app back up right away, but have decided to do so now. I put it back on the market last night, and have sent nearly 150 invites this morning.

So anyone wanting an invite, go download it!