The Psychological Effects of Invite- Only websites

You should have been up there on the Moon if you have not heard the hottest news which is dominating the Internet for the last month- Google + is now launched!

They used their proven strategy for viral marketing – make it accessible to selected people only and see what happens. The internet is floated by “I need a Google + Invite” threads and “Do you have Google + invites” questions.

Google made the right step by inviting people who influence the Internet in one or another way and they turned Google + into a sensation.

google + invite

Another example of a highly successful example of invite-only is Quora, which is restricted to invite-only access for non US users.

There are companies, which took on the buzz and started creating ways to give away invitations in return for free marketing. It is not rare to read, follow us on Twitter, Facebook etc., Tweet the following “…” and we will send you an invitation.

This way they are generating massive free traffic to their own websites and social media, which I must admit is a wise step.

Let us not forget the Internet-wonder called Facebook as well. At the beginning it was intended to be a Harvard social network, but after a great success they started to expand via the invite-only principle around other universities and finally- the whole world, enabling users to socialize and share. Now Facebook has over  600 000 users and continue to grow.

But why this invite-only approach is so viral? It must have some psychological effect on Internet users.

  1. Invite-only principle works by creating a sense of specialness into the people. If you are invited. Having access to this kind of website, gives you the feel that you are a part of some „privileged community” .
  2. The “invite-only” principle gives also the impression that you are responsible for creation your own community, where you feel cosy.  You control who should be invited and invite the people you want and socialize with in a closer manner.
  3. The “invite only” principle affects also your “trust” receptors. If you receive a recommendation from a friend, you are more likely to trust them and join the “privileged “community yourself.
  4. Having the chance to send invites to other people creates a sense of powerfulness- you have something that everybody else wants. Whether they will receive it depends entirely on you.
  5. The principle „if everyone wants it so much, then I have to have it”- have you felt this way? Of course yes. This is what the invite-only principle makes you think.

These are some of the psychological effects of invite-only websites. If you can think of something else, please do share it with me… And I will send you a Google + invite.

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One Response to “The Psychological Effects of Invite- Only websites”

  1. great article, keep up the good work

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