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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Four Reasons Why Web 2.0 Sites Go Invite-Only

It seems like every new Web 2.0 company is coming out to the public like a debutante at her ball: shyly. It might be private beta where only certain users (probably friends, family, and prominent bloggers) are invited to test drive the product, or maybe you have a waiting list collecting emails to let users in a few at a time. Given all this, I thought it might be interesting to list out a few reasons for doing invite-only.
Exclusivity: Make users feel special when they get an invite, knowing that they're one of a select few.

Steady Press: Invite bloggers, journalists, and users one group at a time to ensure that you get a steady flow of press attention. Hopefully, each wave brings ever more eager hordes of users hoping for entrance to your exclusive enclave.

Feedback: Select users tell you what's wrong. You fix it before the rest of the public finds out you have a buggy product. Slap a beta label to your logo to doubly make sure users don't expect perfection.

Viral Marketing: Give invited users invites of their own. Wouldn't you feel more inclined to test a new site out if your friend emailed you with an invite?
Anyone else want to chime in with their own reasons?

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