Having the same issue, it seems as if they opened only briefly.
I still have no idea how to invite new people to Google+
Share something with them. Throw them in a circle and share with that, or just type their email addy in directly. Helps greatly if you share with an already established gmail address. My experience yesterday was that they didn't get notified of the share and its implicit invite (I think they disabled this since it is effectively SPAM when most invites are blocked). They then have to check http://plus.google.com directly -- it'll be clear to them if they are let in. One the implicit invite is sent, they have one. Heck, it may be that any gmail.com account is let in when invites are open.
I was able to add someone yesterday usingdescription. I typed an unpdate that I shared only with that person using his gmail address. I also had him in a circle, not sure if that was critical or not in the process... Can't wait for it to be fully open!!!
It took a while for the share way to work for me (about 24 hours before I was able to get in), but I did the same for someone yesterday and he got in immediately. I did see a "send invites" link yesterday on my stream page, but it's not there today.
Even when you invite, it's hit or miss whether it will work. They apparently turn it on and off globally somewhat at random. I had to continually check my invite to get in.
there's also a small Invite people to Google+ icon at the bottom of the right column of the stream view, when invites are open.
I think that appears even when invites are closed. The person gets the invite, but it isn't live until Google turns the pipe back on.
It's SO confusing. I keep getting messages that people are sharing with me. But almost nothing in the stream. Then I get messages from people I have never even heard of saying they want to connect. I have no idea where those people are, or if I'm sharing with them. Synchronous connections are the only way to go.
You'll only see what the other people are sharing with you if you add them to one of your circles, otherwise it would be a very-efficient vector for SPAM. So if someone adds you to one of their circles, and you want to see in your stream what they're posting, you should add them to one of your circles.
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