If you say the word Orkut in front of teenagers they will probably go “WHAT ???” . Orkut is one of the oldest social networking website of the world and last week Orkut sent an Email to all of its users saying that Orkut will close its services on 30th September 2014.

Orkut was developed in late 2003 by Orkut Büyükkökten. Dr. Orkut Büyükkökten is a renowned Turkish-American software engineer and one of the pioneer of the concept of internet social networking. He presented the idea of sharing and connecting through a website and this idea led to the development of this earliest social network. Prior to Orkut he also worked on a few intranet based social networks. Orkut started as a ‘20% project’ and turned into a global phenomena. Orkut.com was launched on January 24, 2004 and it is owned and operated by Google.

orkut-logoAs soon as its release Orkut was a success. Orkut communities started conversations, and created connections, that had never existed before. Orkut helped shape life online before people really knew what “social networking” was. Orkut was an instant hit in some regions of the world and it peaked its popularity in 2008. At its peak Orkut was one of the most visited website in Latin America and Asia. MySpace was launched around the same time and it became the most popular social networking website of the world but the problem with MySpace was its rich media content that made the overall website slower. Orkut was around and it provided a lighter and simpler way of sharing stuff. Reason of Orkut’s popularity in Latin America, South Asia and South East Asia is the lack of high speed internet that was required for MySpace. At the start of 2004 every young boy or girl in these countries had two words on their mouth SCRAPS and COMMUNITIES. These were the two most famous and widely used features of Orkut where you can send messages to friends while keeping the chat public or private and creating online communities with like-thinking people.

In 2008 Google announced that Orkut would be fully managed and operated in Brazil, by Google Brazil, in the city of Belo Horizonte. This was decided due to the large Brazilian user base and growth of legal issues. Some tech experts argue that this was the point that Orkut totally lost its magic. In April 2008 FaceBook took over each and every existing social network of the world and became one of the most visited website of the world. Orkut In their farewell email the officials of Orkut said that “we have decided that it’s time for us to start saying goodbye to Orkut. 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 focus our energy and resources on making these other social platforms as amazing as possible for everyone who uses them“.

Traffic on Orkut by country
Traffic of Orkut on March 31, 2004
Flag of the United States.svgUnited States51.36%
Flag of Japan.svgJapan7.74%
Flag of Brazil.svgBrazil5.16%
Flag of the Netherlands.svgNetherlands4.10%
Flag of the United Kingdom.svgUnited Kingdom3.72%
 Other27.92%
Traffic of Orkut on May 1, 2014
Flag of Brazil.svgBrazil48.4%
Flag of India.svgIndia14.9%
Flag of the United States.svgUnited States5.9%
Flag of Japan.svgJapan5.8%
Flag of Pakistan.svgPakistan3.4%
 Other21.6%

Orkut

Above chart tells the percentage of traffic to Orkut. If you keep the number of internet users in those countries you will come to conclusion that Pakistani people really love social networking even if it is outdated and almost deprecated. 🙂

Existing users can export their profile data, community posts and photos using Google Takeout (available until September 2016). There will be a archive created for all public communities which will be available online from 30 September 2014. If anyone do not want their name to be included in the community archive, they can simply remove Orkut permanently from the Google account.

Soon Orkut will become a talk of a hipster. I USED SOCIAL NETWORKING BEFORE IT WAS COOL.

For Orkut their first 3 to 4 years were great when they became second best social network of the world but after that they were never able to catch up with FaceBook Twitter Google+ and many more. Some critics say that Orkut was never Google’s priority it and was always a 20% project but it got a lot of young people hooked to internet social networking. So Good Bye Orkut.You will be remembered as an old friend who couldn’t catch up with fast pace of life.

Good Bye Orkut