30 September. That’s the deadline Google has set to shut down its 10-year-old social networking site Orkut. Google engineering director Paul Golgher said in a blog post, “Over the past decade, YouTube, Blogger and Google+ have taken off.” The search engine giant will therefore shut Orkut to focus on its more popular services.
Orkut was launched in 2004 with a lot of hope but soon lost popularity against competing social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. This phenomenon ran globally but most affected Orkut users in America. Today, it does not get mention among the top 5 social networking sites.
Time and again, many reasons have been cited for a decline in the power of Orkut against its then leading competitor Facebook. One of the most pertinent reasons was Google’s half-hearted belief in social networking. They are an engineering powerhouse with products like their search engine, Google Analytics, Google Play and more. However, they didn’t invest in Orkut to the extent lovers of the social networking site would have liked.
Then a Google employee, Marissa Mayer went on record in 2010 to say that Orkut initially attracted millions of users in a few days. However, this caused the network to slow down thus frustrating its users. In countries like Brazil and India, where users didn’t mind slowing speed, it remains a popular social networking website.
Today, Orkut rests its popularity primarily on Brazil (close to 50 percent of its users are from this country) and India (about 20 percent). However, US only accounts for .86 percent of Orkut users.
Clearly, Google was not finding Orkut worth the resources. Hence, they have decided to close the website.
with a single message on the homepage of it users, “Orkut Will not be available after September 30, 2014”.