Yesterday, we reported that Google had closed a loophole in the Google+ invite system that allowed new users to join, even though the company had stopped allowing Plus users to send official invites to the new social network, which is still in its testing phase. Well, it seems they’ve opened the hole back up again — at least for the time being — so if you want to get in on the hot Google+ action right now, here’s how you do it:
First, you need to know somebody who is already a member of Plus. (We know, that’s annoying. But this is a loophole after all, so you can’t expect it to be without at least minor headaches.) If nobody comes immediately to mind, you can always ask around on Facebook or Twitter — there are enough Google+ members out there now that it shouldn’t be too difficult to find an in.
Next, that person needs to do one of the following things to send you an invite: Post a Stream update (the same as posting to your Wall on Facebook), and share that post with you by entering your email address (which you should have already given them, if they don’t know it already). You should receive a notification email soon after with a link at the bottom that reads “Learn more about Google+”. Click that, and sign up! It’s that easy.
Another way, which a lot of people on Plus are using, is slightly more complicated, but has its advantages, especially if that person is inviting multiple people at once. The Plus user must create a new “Circle” — Google’s term for contact group — called “Invites,” or whatever they like. Once they’ve added all the emails they want to ad, they must simply create a Stream post and share it with only the “Invite” circle. Anyone in the Circle will get the email. Recipients, just click the link, and sign up.
Now, technically, neither of these are actual “loopholes,” per se. They are built in to the Google+ system. Each Google+ user is given an allotted number of invites that they can send out. (Your reporter currently has around 350.) That number will go down when using either of the techniques mentioned above.
Reminder: We don’t promise that Google won’t shut this down, but these techniques are working at the time of this writing (about 11:30am EST). If it doesn’t work the first time, try again at a later hour.
Once you’re inside, here are a few tips to mastering Google+:
• _ italic text _ ➜ italic text
• * bold text * ➜ bold text
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•@Andrew Couts or +Andrew Couts ➜ link to that person in a post or comment
• Press “k” or “j” to move up or down in the Stream.
• Press Tab + Enter to post a comment more quickly
EDIT: Updated with additional information at 12:30pm EST