What is Orkut?
Orkut was a social networking website that was launched in January 2004. It was created by Google employee Orkut Büyükkökten and named after him.
Orkut gained significant popularity during its early years, especially in countries like Brazil and India, where it became the dominant social networking platform. However, despite its initial success, Orkut eventually faced several challenges that led to its downfall.
How Orkut worked
Users could register and create personal profiles, including their interests and profile picture. The site allowed users to send and receive friend requests, and upon acceptance, they could connect with others and interact through various activities.
The “Scrapbook” feature enabled public messages and greetings to be left on friends’ profiles. Users could join or create communities based on shared interests, participate in discussions, and share photos and videos.
Orkut also offered privacy settings to control who could view their content. While its popularity declined over time, during its peak, it served as a vibrant platform for social connections and online interactions.
Reasons Orkut Failed
Below are 5 factors that contributed to the downfall of Orkut.
Competition from Facebook
The main cause of Orkut’s failure was the rapid rise of the Facebook social media platform, which made its debut in the same year as Orkut. Facebook gained popularity years after it was launched due to its simple and user-friendly interface and it also provided a better user experience. As Facebook’s user population increased rapidly, many Orkut users started switching to Facebook causing a reduction in Orkut’s active users.
Focus on specific demographics
Initially, Orkut was designed for audiences in Brazil and was also used by some people in India, Japan, and the United States. On the contrary, Facebook was designed for global use. As a result, Orkut’s user growth became stagnant and the platform was unable to attract a lot of users from other demographics.
Lack of innovation
As time passed, Orkut was unable to keep up with the always-changing technological developments. Facebook on the other hand was employing social media trends and continuously introduced new features therefore enhancing the platform. People were impressed by Facebook since it offered an interesting networking experience and perceived Orkut as outdated.
Privacy and security issues
Orkut was also plagued with privacy and security difficulties causing users to lose trust in the platform. Orkut’s default settings section allowed users’ personal information to be accessible publicly and decreased user retention.
In contrast, other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter put in place strict privacy measures that were better and drew users looking for stronger privacy protection.
Google’s focus on other ventures
Google`s attention and resources were shifted to other projects and ventures such as Youtube, therefore, leaving limited support to Orkut. These factors contributed to Orkut’s eventual failure. Despite its initial popularity and success, the above factor resulted in its ultimate failure.
The Bottom Line
As a result of these factors, Orkut’s user base declined steadily, and the platform gradually lost relevance. Google eventually announced the shutdown of Orkut on September 30, 2014, and users were given the option to export their data before the platform was permanently closed. The failure of Orkut paved the way for the rise of other social networking platforms, with Facebook emerging as the dominant force in the industry.