TechCrunch seems perturbed by Google’s decision to maintain Orkut as a distinct entity from Google Plus. I’m uncertain why though. Orkut has been Google’s most successful social network, for a very long time (in a web frame of reference)! Orkut even grew its user base in Brazil during 2011.
Orkut remains the third most popular social network in India. I recall an Orkut Blogger post last year that showed Orkut having an audience of over 65 million ACTIVE users, primarily in Brazil, Paraguay, Pakistan and India. There doesn’t seem any reason to merge Orkut out of existence, into Google+ or any where else!
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 doesn’t make any sense.
The badge was spotted over on Indian tech blog pluggd.in, which prompted the inquiry into Google’s official position on the matter. The company says that over time, it will determine how to best integrate the two products, and that we’re just now starting to see this play out. Things like the Google+ badge, a minor, non-threatening, but obviously awareness-raising new feature is one of those first steps.