In a move that’s not too surprising, Google’s announced that it’s going to be killing off its Orkut social network. When Google+ first launched, Orkut became immediately redundant, and it seemed inevitable that Google would focus less and less attention there and instead shift that attention to its potential Facebook-killer.
When Orkut first launched, the term “social network” wasn’t really recognized. I remember signing up for the service back when it was new – the hype around it basically forced me to. Not long after though, I stopped using it, because it served me no purpose. The reason behind that could be because it simply wasn’t well-supported by the general public like Google+ or Facebook are today.
Over the years, Orkut use declined rapidly, although the site still ranks about 5,000 on Alexa, a service that ranks websites based on estimated traffic. Interestingly, though, as the service declined in usage in the US, it skyrocketed in usage in Brazil. The difference was so stark that Google ended up moving Orkut’s HQ down to Brazil to better serve that audience.
Back in April, Google’s Vic Gundotra, the company’s head of Google+, left the company. It was widely speculated then that Google might be winding down that social network, although the company has vehemently denied that. With Orkut’s shutting-down, the situation can be taken from a number of different angles. Google might want to cull the slack, and focus all of its efforts on making Google+ better. Or, it could be winding itself down on the social front, though to me that seems highly unlikely.
I might not have used you in nearly a decade Orkut, but RIP nonetheless.
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