Yesterday Google announced that their flagship social networking site: Orkut will be retired. Announcing via blogs posts in English and Portuguese, Google said that effective September 30, 2014 Orkut would be “shut down”.
From today onwards, no new Orkut account can be created and users can download their entire Orkut history using Google Takeout.
It can be described as an end of an era, especially for lot of Indians and Asians who were introduced to the concept of social networking via Orkut. While most of the teens may not know Orkut, at one time Orkut was synonymous with Social Networking (probably equal to if not more than what Facebook is today)
Here are 8 interesting facts about Orkut which, in a way, is a tribute to one of the largest social networks we ever saw:
- Since 2008, entire Orkut team was shifted to Belo Horizonte, Brazil considering that Orkut’s largest userbase was from Brazil. This is the reason Google announced the shutting down of this social network in English and Portuguese. The servers were still hosted in California, USA.
- Orkut is named after a Google employee: Orkut Büyükkökten, who actually developed this social network. He is a Turkish software engineer, who utilized Google’s 20% Project time to create this social network. Google mandates all it’s employee to use 20% of their office time in developing their own projects. Orkut was the result of such a ‘side project’ by Orkut Büyükkökten.
- When Orkut was launched, it was Marissa Mayer, the current Yahoo CEO who was the project manager who actually approved this project and named it “Orkut”.
- As of May 2014, Orkut was world’s 6101st favourite site, as per Alexa ranking. 48% of the traffic to Orkut still came from Brazil whereas India was second largest userbase with 14% traffic. Around 35 million accounts are still active in India
- In 2007, Mumbai police has asked the court to place a ban on Orkut as several hate groups had suddenly sprung all over the social network. The case is still pending.
- As of 2009, 70% of Orkut users were aged between 18 and 30 years, making it the largest platform for youngsters and teenagers. Only 3% of Orkut users were above 50 years. (source)
- Only three countries had the courage to block Orkut for their citizens: Iran, UAE and Saudi Arabia. They banned Orkut because lots of anti-national sentiments were shared across the social network.
- In 2006, some hacking experts discovered a lethal virus which had spread it’s tentacles all across Orkut. Named as MW.Orc worm, it was launched when an ignorant user shared a jpg files which had this virus. Once installed in the System 32 folder of the user, this virus siphoned off private details such as passwords and bank account details.
Social Media specialists are not actually shocked at this decision to retire Orkut, but are infact wondering what took Google so long to take this decision.
Ever since Google+ was launched, speculations were high that Orkut would be retired very soon. The day has finally arrived.
Time to have a last look at your ‘scraps’ and ‘orkut timeline’. RIP Orkut.