Google will send out 100,000 invites in September for people to start using Google Wave, its newest real-time communication platform that many experts believe will redefine e-mail.
“In addition to the developers already using Wave, we will invite groups of users from the hundreds of thousands who offered to help report bugs when they signed up on wave.google.com,” Google announced in its blog earlier this week. Google will likely reserve these invites for the nerdiest of nerds around the world, but you can sign up for Wave updates HERE. It projects that Google Wave will be available to the masses later this year.
What is Google Wave?
Google Wave combines e-mail, instant messaging, social networking, browsing, open-sourcing and project management into one integrated communications tool. Its concept: to unify communication on the Web.
According to Mashable, a Web 2.0 review site that was able to test the new platform, Google Wave’s interface looks like an incredibly enhanced version of G-mail, with the addition of pictures of contacts in the sidebar along the left. The chat function features real-time, character-by-character chat that allows you to add and reply anywhere within a conversation. Instead of attaching documents to e-mails (as in traditional platforms) you can simply drag a file from your desktop and drop it anywhere in Google, where anyone authorized can see it. In a business setting, for example, co-workers can quickly share files and other complex information, without having to attach files to e-mails and send them out to individual workers who must then open the attachments.
Google Wave also allows you to run outside applications – Facebook, Twitter, company project management tools or even video games – inside of Google Wave, allowing it to function as an all-in-one communication tool. You can also embed waves (threaded conversations) onto a Web site or blog, allowing you to share real-time conversations with the world. This could revolutionize traditional communication channels by allowing, for example, companies to add customer service waves on their Web sites to more accurately and efficiently address consumer inquiries. Users can also recreate and rebrand their own versions of Google Wave, as the system is completely open-sourced and extendable. A company can even host its own version on its own server.
If Google can convince enough people and businesses to switch to Google Wave, we may be looking at the next evolution in online communication.
I recommend visiting Mashable for more in-depth information about Google Wave.