September 30, 2014 will bring down curtains on Orkut as Google has decided to shut down the 10-year-old social media networking site, that was the opening website for those Internet starters of the last decade.
In fact, Orkut got more than expected attention during its initial days, as the Internet world began to shift from the traditional e-mails into online chat and relationships that could have stemmed the entry of FaceBook if it had been simple. Nobody would have thought then that Orkut would be closed one day.
Orkut was more popular in India after Brazil, according to statistics. It was also made available in 6 new Indian languages: Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu. On November 8, 2007, Orkut greeted Indian users “Happy Diwali” and allowed them to change their Orkut look to a Diwali-flavoured reddish theme. On April 1 Fools’ Day 2008, Orkut briefly changed its name to “yogurt” as a prank.
With different themes, it started providing photo uploading facility that was catching up fast and for the first time, birthday greetings via Orkut was going viral. With the feature came different online greeting cards and beatiful themes too. Themes were later confined to India, Brazil and Pakistan.
For chats and messages, it used open up with “You have a new Scrap” that meant Orkut lovers feel part of the world. It was Orkut that has brought old friends back to communication networking online. Later, it has introduced Fans or those who liked photos or messages online, which went on to become popular in Facebook.
Next came the feature that introduced testimonials and ratings. Next feature that was unique was the community forum, whereby people with similar views and hobbies came together online creating the niche groups worldwide.
In Iran, Orkut was banned as the rulers believed that women would become friendly with foreigners. Saudi Arabia is another Gulg nation to block access to Orkut. Though Facebook, Myspace and Youtube gave tough fight to its existence, Orkut was able to introduce new features to survive the tide.
Those who have photos, conversations in Orkut can download them into a new account in “Google Takeaway” and the last date is September 30.
The entire idea of Orkut came from Google’s practice to spare 20% of its employees time for new ideas and Orkut Büyükkökten was the one who conceived it and hence, the name Orkut. It was at the rank of 6,101 in Alexa as of May 2014.