GMail Invites are dead

Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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GMail Invites are dead

I wondered in my Google Talk Test Drive blog post if GMail invites would see a "spike". I wrote, "Looks like the GMail invites should see a spike due to Google Talk. Wonder if people are still selling Gmail invites on eBay?"

Well, as of today, coinciding with the Google Talk news, Gmail invites are no longer necessary to sign up for a Gmail account. Guess that means any GMail invites being sold on eBay are now worthless. Though never understood why one would buy a GMail invite since they are so easy to get. Well, I guess the scammers selling GMail email accounts will have to pay their eBay listing fees. Serves them right!

According to BusinessWeek, "Google says it will take the wraps off the service for users in the U.S. Gmail will be open and free to U.S. users but will require that they use a mobile phone capable of receiving text messages to prove they're legitimate users. When they sign up, Harik says, Google will send their phone a text message. While it may not be fail-safe, Harik says the measure is an effort to minimize Gmail being used by spammers and for other types of abuse."

You can go here to see the Google SMS sign-up. But do I REALLY want to give Google my cell phone number? That'll give them my email address, my phone number, and lord only knows what other info they've tracked me on using the Google Toolbar and/or their cookie that never expires. They're becoming like the Overnet in Terminator. Scary!

Also, I'm not sure why Google requires a mobile phone to ensure a legitimate user. Why not a valid email account? I suppose there are many ways of acquiring an anonymous email address which can get around this. Obviously, Google is trying to avoid spammers from joining their GMail network. Why not just not allow the large anonymous email domains such as from joining?

Also, just discovered that Gmail now allows you outgoing Gmail messages to display another one of your email addresses in the 'From:' field (instead of your Gmail address) for when users reply. I never had a need for this feature, but some people do, so it's worth noting.

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