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. 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.

Orkut user data as a chart

Google 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.

Update 21 April 2014

The future of Orkut appears less certain now, nearly two years later. The Orkut developer page, hxxps://code.google.com/intl/en-US/apis/orkut returns a generic Google HTTP error 404 page not found.

orkut 404

Orkut advertising is gone

Equally ominous: Orkut’s advertising inquiries page returns this:

I am uncertain whether Orkut is accessed over SSL, which is standard for most other Google services. Orkut policy and content guidelines are maintained in the Google help/support area (using SSL).

Orkut Terms of Service has a peculiar URL,

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

considering the fact that Orkut is at orkut.com. Other Orkut pages use the same g0.gstatitc.com/orkut/* path. In contrast, most Google products and services have Google sub-domain addresses.

The extremely friendly Official Orkut blog has not been updated  since September 2012, which is not encouraging.

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

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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