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It's the tech world's version of the velvet rope. Companies such as Google hope that by limiting the number of people who can join their services -- like Google+, which is seen as Google's answer to Facebook -- they will be able drive up the buzz for those new sites.
A theory of human behavior is at work here: People want what they can't have. It's hard not to at least be curious what the new Google social network is like when every tech blogger on the Internet is writing about it.
There's ostensibly a technical component, too. If not everyone can join at once, there's less chance the site will crash.
But there's a quiet backlash brewing against this cool-kids method to website launches. Not only do people feel left out, but this exclusivity-builds-interest model also has a track record that's far from perfect.
More from CNN Tech.