Google announced on Orkut’s blog that it will shut down the service from September 2014. Orkut was born in 2004, taking its name after the creator, Orkut Büyükkökten and was born as a ‘20% project’. Even if it was always an underdog of the social media world, Orkut has some historical achievements. In 2006, 70 percent of the users were Brazilians, according to ReadWrite, in a time when MySpace was the leader of social media. To understand why Google closes Orkut, we have to think about Facebook’s impact. As we already know, Facebook took over the reign of social media. In Brazil it only turned out so as late as 2011. Orkut has been massive in India too. There haven’t been any announcements regarding Orkut since September 2012 on the network’s blogs, so the fate of the social network does not come as a surprise. Right now, Google’s plans on the future of the social media platform are stated clearly in the announcement:
“Over the past decade, YouTube, Blogger and Google+ have taken off, with communities springing up in every corner of the world. Because the growth of these communities has outpaced Orkut’s growth, we’ve decided to bid Orkut farewell (or, tchau). We’ll be focusing our energy and resources on making these other social platforms as amazing as possible for everyone who uses them.”
What happens now that Google closes Orkut?
Google does not advertise a transition to Google Plus. The head of Google Plus, Vic Gundotra, decided to abandon the position in April, after the number of users continued to stay well behind that of Facebook, now at 1.28 billion users. Google tried to push users into using Google Plus in connection to Youtube, but it met a huge wave of adversity and even mockery. What Google strategically attempted to achieve through Google Plus was a unifying identity, instead of a regular networking stream.
Orkut users can use Google Takeout to export their profile information and photos, along with community posts until September 2016. Strangely, although the users can connect their profiles to Google Plus, they cannot transfer the data there though this method. As Google closes Orkut, it advises the users who enjoy games on Orkut to contact the game publishers and inquire about the possibilities of data transfer to other services, where available.
We reported on Facebook’s Home project probable dismissal last week. Apparently, after each decided to have a taste of the other’s success, both Facebook and Google decided to each stick to what they did best so far. We hope that not so many users will be affected by the fact that Google closes Orkut.