How to get a Google+ invite right now

Google+Invite

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.

Google+ share

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.

Google+circle-share

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
• - strikethrough text - ➜ strikethrough text
•@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

Also check out our dueling columns Five reasons why Google+ will succeed and Five reasons why Google+ will fail.

EDIT: Updated with additional information at 12:30pm EST

Product Review

Google’s Pixel 3 is a hair away from pocket-sized perfection

Google’s Pixel 3 smartphone is the best Android phone you can buy. It doesn’t have the best looks or the best hardware, but you’ll be hard pressed to find better software and unique A.I. functionalities.
Wearables

Google's Wear OS update 'H' promises battery life improvements

Google has rebranded its Android Wear operating system to Wear OS. Removing the Android name may help people better understand Google-powered smartwatches, which also play nice with iOS devices. 
Computing

Four fake cryptocurrency apps were listed on the Google Play Store

It is a dangerous time to be going after crytocurrency on Android. Four bogus cryptocurrency apps were spotted on the Google Play Store this week, according to a report from cybersecurity researcher Lukas Stefanko. 
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.
Social Media

Dine and dash(board): Make a Yelp reservation from your car’s control panel

Already in the car, but can't decide where to eat? Yelp Reservations can now be added to some dashboard touchscreens. Yelp Reservations searches for restaurants within 25 miles of the vehicle's location.
Computing

Hackers sold 120 million private Facebook messages, report says

Up to 120 million private Facebook messages were being sold online by hackers this fall. The breach was first discovered in September and the messages were obtained through unnamed rogue browser extensions. 
Social Media

Facebook opens pop-up stores at Macy’s, but they’re not selling the Portal

Facebook has opened pop-up stores at multiple Macy's, though they're not selling Facebook's new Portal device. Instead, they're showcasing small businesses and brands that are already popular on Facebook and Instagram.
Web

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. You're in luck -- we've gathered 23 of the best subreddits to help…
Social Media

Facebook Messenger will soon let you delete sent messages

A feature coming to Facebook Messenger will let you delete a message for up to 10 minutes after you send it. The company promised the feature months ago and this week said it really is on its way ... "soon."
Social Media

Pinterest brings followed content front and center with full-width Pin format

Want to see Pinterest recommendations, or just Pins from followed users? Now Pinners can choose with a Pinterest Following feed update. The secondary feed eliminates recommendation and is (almost) chronological.
Smart Home

Facebook's Alexa-enabled video-calling devices begin shipping

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.
Social Media

Vine fans, your favorite video-looping app is coming back as Byte

Vine fans were left disappointed in 2017 when its owner, Twitter, pulled the plug on the video-looping app. But now one of its co-founders has promised that a new version of the app, called Byte, is coming soon.
News

Social media use increases depression and anxiety, experiment shows

A study has shown for the first time a causal link between social media use and lower rates of well-being. Students who limited their social media usage to 30 minutes a day showed significant decreases in anxiety and fear of missing out.
Social Media

Twitter boss hints that an edit button for tweets may finally be on its way

Twitter has been talking for years about launching an edit button for tweets, but it still hasn't landed. This week, company boss Jack Dorsey addressed the matter again, describing a quick-edit button as "achievable."