Google launched their first social network, Orkut, a month before Facebook in 2004. After 10 years of being in operation, Orkut is all set to be shut down and its communities data is to be archived. On the other hand Facebook continues to grow, touching a staggering figure of 1.30 billion users.
Google has announced that Orkut will be shut down by September, but the search engine giant is allowing users to export their information through Google Takeout. Brazil and India were the only countries where Orkut was able to record significant numbers of users. In its latest announcement, Google said that they would be phasing out Orkut to focus their social network efforts on Google+, YouTube and Blogger, sites where there is faster community growth.
Although the search engine giant didn’t focus Orkut’s marketing efforts towards Brazil, the immense growth received in the market lead the company to shift its operations to the country in 2008. In 2011, Orkut, with a user base of almost 33 million in Brazil was three times larger than Facebook in the country. But in 2012, Facebook toppled Google’s social site and gradually paved the way for Google to make some big decisions.
Orkut was launched during Google’s attempt to acquire Friendster. Google Buzz was another of Google’s attempt at social networks. It was launched in 2010 but was shut down the very next year. Google+ has already completed three years and has been a bigger success even though it has been struggling compared to other big social networking sites.
New account signups have already been stopped on Orkut, but existing users can export all their information, photos and posts using Google Takeout. Users will get a 3-month period for shifting all their data from their Orkut profile. It will even be possible to export HTML files.
Besides the web version, the Orkut mobile app will also be removed from the Google Play and App Store. Google states that all the developers and other Orkut team members will be moved to Google+ and other departments within the company.