If you were into social media before 2008, Orkut would be a well known name for you. This was the most sorted after socializing hub before people started migrating to Facebook.com. The company tried its best to revive its market reputation but all was in vain. Its share value and user strength kept on falling and is currently facing a situation of closure.
However, one thing that should be appreciated about Orkut.com is that it was the platform which introduced social media as a craze in public.
History: The website was developed as an independent project by Orkut Buyukoktun. This website was funded by Google. It was intended to serve as a medium to unite his university alumni group. Anyhow, when it was launched at the public platform, it turned out to become a major rage.
Founder: The founder of Orkut.com was Orkut Büyükökten, a Turkish software engineer. Orkut was born on 6th Feb 1975. He
completed his BSc from Bilkent University which is in Ankara. He received MS and Ph.D as honorary degrees from the prestigious Stanford University. He also developed inCircle and Club Nexus.
How does Orkut.com generate revenue? : Orkut.com does not show ads like other social networking websites. Anyhow it advertises on other parts of the website. This is the main form of revenue it generates. It uses adsense ad in sidebar though.
Statistical Data: Although initially Orkut was quite famous in the US, but at present the social networking website derives majority of its users from Brazil and India. Orkut’s current Alexa rank is 748 which is way behind that of its closest competitor Facebook.com (Alexa rank 1). Orkut presently has 33 million users.
During its peak time at 24th March 2004, 51.36 % of its users were from USA. 7.74 % from Japan, 5.16% from Brazil, 4.10 % from the Netherlands, 3.72 % from the UK and 27.92 % from others. At present, the scenario has changed a lot. Now the main stay of the website is Brazil. 62.5 % of its users are from Brazil, 19.5 % are from India, 9.8 % are from Japan, 1.7 % are from the US and 5.9 % from others.
Competitors: Orkut has quite a lot of competitors, the worst threat being Facebook and Google Plus. Till 2008, Orkut was the leading social networking website, but with time, people started shifting on to Facebook. Now Orkut is way behind and seems to have lost Google’s support as well. Furthermore, Google is enormously supporting Google Plus. This has further increased the woes of the social networking website. Revival chances seem to be quite dim for Orkut unless some miracle happens.
User review: User opinion about Orkut.com is quite biased. It has unexpectedly found a huge market in Brazil with most of the people there considering it to be their primary search engine. It is still used by many users in India and a few in the US. Anyhow, it is way behind Facebook in terms of popularity. Furthermore, it faced quite a lot of criticism in India due to a ‘We hate India’ campaign that was launched on the website. Except for this, the website’s response to user complaints is quite slow. Furthermore the features it offers are less as compared to Facebook and Google plus. So users don’t consider it to be quite a favorable social networking website.
Criticism: Orkut is banned in Iran, Saudi Arabia and the UAE due to the fact that it permitted publishing of anti Islamic content. Its access has been further regulated in other Islamic countries as well. Furthermore, many companies have banned its use during office hours.
Are you still using Orkut?