Google Wave has officially launched. It’s being offered to 100,000 lucky beta testers by invite only.
Wave is a new collaboration tool lets users create “waves” where they can invite others to share photos, text, gadgets, and links. . It blends elements of email, wikis, instant messaging and social networking to try to make it easier for people to plan every action, in real time.
Co-creator Lars Rasmussen explains The Wave on the Google Blog:
Here’s how it works: In Google Wave you create a wave and add people to it. Everyone on your wave can use richly formatted text, photos, gadgets, and even feeds from other sources on the web. They can insert a reply or edit the wave directly. It’s concurrent rich-text editing, where you see on your screen nearly instantly what your fellow collaborators are typing in your wave. That means Google Wave is just as well suited for quick messages as for persistent content — it allows for both collaboration and communication. You can also use “playback” to rewind the wave and see how it evolved.
There are also still key features that have yet to fully implement.
For example, you can’t yet remove a participant from a wave or define groups of users, draft mode is still missing and you can’t configure the permissions of users on a wave. We’ll be rolling out these and other features as soon as they are ready — over the next few months.
Google Wave is already being considered as the next revolution of email.
It looks very similar to a Gmail inbox but there are no “Create New Message” tabs. Messages becomes more like conversations and will appear in a single conversation stream that people can drag, drop and share on social media. Moreover it has been redefined the way we attach documents. No more attachments: just drag your file and drop it inside Google Wave and everyone will have access.
Lars Rasmussen explained “that they are continuing with this invitation-only mode through the end of the year. Our next big milestone is to make the [user-interface] available internationally. It’s English and so we’re going to translate it into a bunch of languages and we’re hoping that will be in the first quarter.”
Do you want a Google Wave Invite? There’s a website for that!
It’s called googlewaveinvites.com and it’s a sort of free marketplace for distributing Wave invites. If you need an invite, simply sign up with your name and email address.
Google Wave Overview – great video!