Can Gmail's Invite-Only approach be considered Viral Marketing?
Yes, I have a Gmail account.
A lot of people have apparently been wondering what the fuss is all about, with many remarking that Gmail is just webmail after all. In addition, some very valid accessibility issues have also been raised regarding the interface.
Despite all the negative comments, I can't help but like Gmail. It's an emotional, irrational thing. The fact that it's from Google makes it immediately worth watching. The fact that it's currently by invitation only also makes it a hot item (supply and demand, and all that).
Oh, as an aside -- there's now a Philippine Gmail User's Yahoogroup... and you guessed it, you can only subscribe to it if you use a Gmail account.
I'm waiting for all the marketing gurus to jump in and examine the "viral marketing" aspects of the Google beta test approach. It will be interesting to find out if Google had designed (by intention) the "Invitation Only" approach to generate a lot of marketing hype and unmet demand.