Printed invitations are so uncool. When you have a party, just get on to a social networking site, and spread the word around

“There was a time when social invitations were an elite affair,” says J. Vengkataramani, who runs his own printing business in the city. His business is doing well, he says, but, he can no longer ignore the onset of a growing trend of people preferring to send invites over social networking sites.

Tough competition

Facebook is the first site he imagines to be his future competitor. Sending invites over Facebook is quick; can reach any number of people anywhere in the world; gives the organisers the option of including pictures and videos about the event; creates an opportunity of those invited to discuss the event. But most importantly — it comes free of cost.

But, Facebook is seen as a blessing in disguise by many, whose main job is to reach as many people as possible in the shortest span of time. Public relations professionals such as Anjana Palepu feel that invites sent across Facebook saves them a lot of time.

“Everyone is on Facebook these days — an invite there simply informs them about my event while it makes my job a lot easier,” she says.

Creating an invite on Facebook is easy, says Bharti Jairaman, who claims she single-handedly did all the inviting for her nephew's first birthday party. “All I needed was to fill in the what, when, where and who details of the event. You also have the option of choosing guests, and who can view the list of invitees,” she says.

Latha Ravi, an event manager is most excited about the RSVP option on a Facebook invite.

“When you organise a large-scale event, with a long list of invitees, it can be tedious to keep track of who's coming and who's not. But on Facebook, the invitees can send an RSVP in with a single click!” she says. A handwritten invite using a quill and vintage ink may conjure up quaint pictures in the mind, but when it comes to practicality, the invite on a social networking site seems to win hands down, thanks to its speed, mass reach and appeal, and, of course, the free-of-cost aspect.

So, the next time there's an event that needs people and a toast, well, clicking a few buttons on your social networking site could pass the word around. Happy inviting!