Google has only allowed a limited number of users onto its new social network. Reuters

The roll-out of Google's latest social networking venture, Google+, appeared to hit an early snag last night as desperate users sought to obtain an invite to the limited-capacity service.

Google chose to restrict access to its new social network -- which allows users to share photos, links and videos with friends, family and acquaintances -- but last night the company gave existing Plus users the ability to invite anyone to test out the service.

However, the open invite didn't last long -- as Google was forced to turn off the service due to the sudden rush of new users.

"We've shut down invite mechanism for the night. Insane demand," Google's head of social Vic Gundotra announced on the service. "We need to do this carefully, and in a controlled way."

Google launched the new service on Tuesday to a select number of users and the levels of interest in the company's social network demonstrate that previous failures in the social network sphere -- Buzz and Wave -- hasn't diminished public interest.

However, as Duncan Geere points out, by restricting the number of people who can join Google+, Google is hugely limiting what kind of experience those people will have. Reducing the "network effect" on which the net's social services rely to increase user numbers.

"I'd have thought Google would have learnt the lessons of the Wave fiasco. That doesn't appear to have been the case. Google+ might the best social service that the world has ever seen, but until it's widely accessible, it'll be terrible," Geere said.

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