Orkut departure adds another project to Google’s kitty of exits

Wednesday, 2 July 2014 - 9:27pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: Zee Research Group
Bidding adieu to an old favourite is tough, especially when a lot of nostalgia is attached to it.

Within a month of people bidding goodbye to the iconic Ambassador car, the time has come for good old Orkut to depart forever. The original social networking site that once had a huge collection of scraps and photographs is being phased out by Google due to lack of takers.

Orkut was launched early in 2004, the same year that Facebook, now the world’s No 1 social network with 1.28 billion users, was founded.

Google has announced that it will shut down Orkut, which is widely used in Brazil and India but hasn’t caughton more broadly across the rest of the world, on September 30 to focus on its other social networking initiatives.

Orkut may have lost its popularity battle against Facebook, but Google’s original social network was bigger than Facebook in emerging markets such as Brazil and India just a couple of years ago. According to comSCORE, until December 2011 Orkut was the most popular social network in Brazil.

Less than two years later, Facebook’s lead was so far ahead that it had a 74% market share compared with Orkut’s 0.97%, states a report by eMarketer.

Orkut’s growth and popularity did not last long, as Facebook emerged as a powerful social networking tool for millions. Facebook was created by a college student — the famous Mark Zuckerberg — for other college students, which emerged as a site that not only connects teenagers to friends, but other students, their families and even their favorite TV shows, movies, and stores.

Facebook also launched separate profile pages for businesses, allowing them to create events and fan pages for their current and potential consumers. Facebook transformed as a platform where programmers can create applications and games on it, that allow users to spend most of their time in the same platform without shifting to other websites.

While some may mourn over Orkut’s silent departure, Google dropping its services is not a huge surprise. Over the years the search giant has axed many of its services to create room for expanding newer projects.

In 2013-2014, Google discontinued Google Schemer (2011-2014), Google Reader (2004-2013), IGoogle (2005-2013) and Google Postini Services (2007-2013).

Last year, on July 1, many users were left unhappy and clueless when Google deactivated its Reader services. Google Reader was an RSS/Atom feed aggregator operated by Google. It was created in early 2005 by Google engineer Chris Wetherell and launched on October 7, 2005, through Google Labs. Google Reader grew in popularity to support a number of apps which used it as a platform for serving news and information to people.

Prior to this Google has also dropped Google Health (2008-2012), Google News Badges (2011-2012), Google Buzz (2010-2011) etc.


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