Google, the Internet search giant has decided to shut down its first social networking site, Orkut on September 30, 2014. The service launched 10 years ago will cease to exist with Google focusing on more popular services. Google says that it’ll be directing its efforts at other social media platforms – YouTube, Blogger and Google+ moving forward. The growth of these communities has outpaced Orkut’s growth, resulting in its exit from the social media world.
Launched in 2004, Orkut which popularized posts or “scraps” between friends was Google’s first venture into social networking. Another reason behind this decision is that though this social media site remains popular in Brazil and India, it never really gained traction in the West. According to its website, about 50.6 per cent of Orkut users were from Brazil. Another 20.44 per cent came from India, while the US and Pakistan accounted for 17.78 per cent and 0.86 per cent, respectively.
Now it is impossible for newcomers to create a new Orkut account. Users can manage the transition by exporting their profile data, community posts and photos using Google Takeout (until September 2016). After the official shut down on September 30, users will be unable to log in or export their photo albums to Google+.
Orkut, in its official blog says, “It’s been a great 10 years, and we apologize to those still actively using the service. We hope people will find other online communities to spark more conversations and build even more connections for the next decade and beyond”.
However, Google added that an archive of all public communities would be available on its search index and will be fully accessible via its archives. Those who don’t want their posts or name to be included in the community archive can remove Orkut permanently from their Google account.
Google has explained on its support page that though there was no way of migrating the data over to Google+ from Orkut, users who want their profiles and communities to live on should create new Google+ pages. This will not transfer data to Google+, but members of the Orkut community will see a banner asking if they want to join the new Google+ community.
Google+ was recently updated with new features such as a photo editor, Auto-Awesome Effects and photo albums called Google+ Stories.