Orkut is the ORIGINAL Google social network

Ellie Kesselman:

TechCrunch seems perturbed by Google’s decision to maintain Orkut as a distinct entity from Google Plus. I think that Google is correct to do so.

Orkut is Google’s most successful social network. It would be fair to say that Orkut is the most successful global online community, EVER. It has been in existence for nearly a decade. That is no minor achievement, in a web time frame of reference! Orkut actually grew its user base in Brazil during 2011.

Google Orkut users in 2011 by country chart - Brazil 50%

Orkut users by country 2011

Orkut remains the second most popular social network in India. I recall reading an official Google blog post last year, tallying over 65 million ACTIVE Orkut users, primarily in Brazil, India, Pakistan and Portugal. There doesn’t seem to be any reason to merge Orkut into Google Plus.

Orkut status April 2014

The future of Orkut appears less certain now, nearly two years later. The Orkut developer page,

https://code.google.com/intl/en-US/apis/orkut 

returns a generic Google HTTP error 404 page not found.

Equally ominous: The Orkut advertising inquiries page also returns an error. Advertising is the number one priority!

Orkut 404 not available

Orkut advertising 404

The Orkut Terms of Service URL is

http://g0.gstatic.com/orkut/html/en-US/additionalterms.orkut.html

Other Orkut pages use the same path,

g0.gstatitc.com/orkut/*

This is peculiar, considering that Orkut is at http://www.orkut.com. In contrast, most other Google digital properties have Google sub-domain addresses.

I am uncertain whether Orkut is accessed over SSL, which is standard for most Google services as of October 2013. Orkut content guidelines are maintained in the Google help/support area, which does support SSL.

The extremely friendly official Orkut blog has not been updated since September 2012; not a good sign.

It isn’t over yet! @OrkutIndia posted an update on 13 March 2014. More importantly, the primary Orkut account is still active, with approximately 55,000 followers.

Update August 2014

Sad news: It finally happened. Google announced that Orkut will be shut down on 4 September 2014. Users may download their content using Google Takeout or migrate to Google+.

Farewell Orkut. I will miss you.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Just spotted in Orkut, Google’s also-ran social networking site: a new Google+ badge, one of the first integrations between the two services. Orkut members who also have a Google+ account are now being rewarded in the form of a badge reading “Google+ user,” which they can choose to make visible on their Orkut profile. No, it’s not a big deal in terms of the feature itself (oooh, a badge), but it’s an indication of Orkut’s current status in Google’s eyes. Orkut and Google+ are different products, and both sites will continue to exist, the company tells us today by way of explanation.

“Orkut has a large user base, especially in Brazil and India, and we will continue to invest in the product,” notes a Google spokesperson. Wait really? How on earth does that fit in with your current social strategy? Sorry, Google, continuing Orkut support just…

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