Yikes,” was the response from Google when early adopters of Google+ were hit with an avalanche of spam.

The glitch happened as Google revealed it was working on a business-focused feature on its social networking site, though, as the Google+ team failed to anticipate the notification problem, doubts about success could be raised.

The notification service ran out of disk space resulting in messages being sent out multiple times. Vic Gundotra, senior vice-president of social for Google apologised via his Google+ account.

“For about 80 minutes we ran out of disk space on the service that keeps track of notifications. Hence our system continued to try sending notifications. Over, and over again. Yikes,” he said.

Google+ business tools plan to rival LinkedIn and Facebook’s company pages – linking into other services such as Google’s AdWords advertising system.

During testing the site is available on an invitation-only basis, a move that has been praised by privacy groups following the privacy issues of Google’s Buzz and Street View services.

Google+ plans to differentiate itself in terms of privacy according to Eric Schmidt, Google president. With Facebook regularly under fire these days for enabling content-sharing features by default, this is a sensible move.