RSVP required: Google sends first-ever Google+ Events invite

Google launched its invitation engine for Google+ today with a massive I/O party invite to two famous bands, and CNET's Jessica Dolcourt goes hands-on to create her own.

Google+ events
I'm one of thousands to get Google's first-ever Google+ Events invite. Click the image for a closer look. Screenshot by Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Google's Vic Gundotra wasn't kidding when promised he'd send 6,000 party invites using the just-launched invitations feature in Google+.

Google+ Events puts your RSVPs in your calendar.
Google+ Events puts your RSVPs in your calendar. Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

Not long ago the invitation from Google's senior vice president of engineering popped up in my inbox, looking suspiciously like a Google+ comment, but with a map you can hide or reveal, some event details, a drop-down RSVP menu, and a couple of fields for entering your name.

There's also plenty of room to write comments, +1 comments you like, and check your availability in your Google calendar. Click another buttons and you're launching the geotagged location on Google Maps, just a click away from navigation guidance.

Yep, sure enough, accepting the invite automatically added the event to my calendar, complete with a thumbnail picture of Gundotra.

Accepting invitations is only half the fun. I also created my first Google+ Events in Google+, which was painless, and live in less than a minute.

The GIFs may be the weakest link here, since some look smoother than others, and right now you have to scroll through a sizable variety, rather than sort or search by themes like birthday, barbecue, kids, and so on.

I do like, however, that you can choose from stationary themes, GIFs, your own photos, and upload new pictures to serve as your visual.

With Google+ Events, Google's integrated ecosystem shines. You can pull an address from Google's vast maps platform, add contacts you already have stored online, and access your calendar and photo library.

I took Google+ Events for a spin myself. Jessica Dolcourt/CNET

It wasn't a next step I expected, but with Google's growing network of people, places, content, and things, Events seems to so far make sense. In fact, I'd expect future versions to dig deeper into your songs, videos, and photos before and after the event, in addition to the photo album organization and instant photo stream from those who sign on to Party Mode.

For Evite, Punchbowl, and other invitation Web sites, Google's new social project is going to cast a long, scary shadow over their operations. For Google, though, the party is just about to begin.

 

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