Google is adopting an Apple strategy today. The search giant is giving students priority to its invite-only phone service, Google Voice. Clearly, Google is trying to go after impressionable minds to gain early adopters of their technologies, which is something that Apple has been doing with its products for some time. The company implemented a similar strategy with Google Apps and Google Wave. The college student market is key because that’s where many people get trained, start relying on, and form brand allegiances to apps and technologies.
Google naturally believes the features of Voice, including the integration of Voice with email, free text messages and the ability to read voicemail in a transcript form are ideal for students and their lifestyle. Of course, this claim isn’t off base but I think those features are useful for anyone, which is why we find the service compelling overall.
Now when a student signs up for Google Voice with an .edu email address, he or she will be given priority over other applicants for the service. There’s even a special page for students to sign up for Voice. Apparently any student who applies will automatically receive an invite within 24 hours. Maybe I should have kept that old college account active after all.