Bill Hartzer

Google Invites, Then Un-Invites, Users to Google Cameos

Apparently Google mistakenly sent out invites to their highly-sought-after Google Cameos app, then promptly un-invited many of those same people. In the second email, they claim that they made a mistake. Google Cameos is an invite-only Google App that allows celebrities and other noteworthy people, to create videos of themselves answering questions. Those videos are then uploaded to the celebrity’s Knowledge Panel directly in the Google search results.

Last night, I, apparently along with a lot of other people, received an email invite from Google Cameos to participate in their app and upload videos. The email then tells you to download the Google Cameos app, log in, and start answering questions via video, which you record in the app. However, when I went to log in, there was an error message, saying that the account wasn’t registered with the app.

Google Cameos is an app that has traditionally only been made available to celebrities on an invite-only basis. So, as someone who does qualify (but who isn’t really a celebrity at all), as I have a Knowledge Panel for my name, you could only imagine my excitement when receiving the email–then to be let down about 24 hours later.

Here’s the email that was sent out:

“Hello!
My name is Charles and I’m a Product Manager at Google working on the Knowledge Panel. Thanks for claiming your own knowledge panel—we love the posts you have been making with Posts on Google!

We have an invite-only feature called Cameos on Google that will help you make your Knowledge Panel even more engaging for your fans. You can record video answers to the questions your fans are asking on Google, and those answers will appear in your Knowledge Panel alongside your Posts. Here are some examples from Kevin Durant, Gordon Ramsay and Olivia Culpo.

We would love to invite you to participate! To get started, please download the Cameos app (Android / iPhone), sign in with your email and start answering questions.

If you have any questions, you can reach me at cameos@google.com.

Thanks!
Charles”

Then, less than 24 hours, they send out this email:

“Uh oh! We mistakenly emailed you to try Cameos on Google, a Search feature we’re piloting that unfortunately isn’t yet ready for everyone. We apologize for the confusion, and we’ll let you know when we make those features available.
You can still use the Knowledge Panel feature to update your information on Search by clicking Suggest an edit at the top of your claimed panel and submitting feedback. You can also check out our Help Center page for more information.”

There are are some who received invitations to Google Cameos who have not received the uninvite email notice from Google. For example, Barry Schwartz and Matt Storms are two examples. Matt Storms was actually able to get in and post some videos, and those videos appear on his Knowledge Panel entry. Search for “Matt Storms” on Google and you’ll see the videos he uploaded. You can see a screen shot of Matt’s Knowledge Panel below:

So, it’s quite possible that Google Cameos meant to launch the service to a bunch of more influencers, all who have Knowledge Panels. But I don’t understand the logic behind sending out invites and then sending out a “whoops” email, literally un-inviting those same people who you just invited to your platform. No explanation that there was a technical issue, which there could have been. Only speculation on my part, but they could have invited too many people, and they couldn’t handle all of the people who wanted to answer questions and upload videos?

Either way, this was a huge screw-up on Google’s part.

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