Google is known for closing down older sites as time goes on as the company did with its Google Reader last year. Now, the company’s back to close down another site that has been rather silenced for some time – its first social network site, Orkut.
Orkut started few days before Facebook comes into existence and once it was more popular than Facebook. However, Facebook due to continuous improvements become the leader of social network.
Orkut Engineering Director Paulo Golgher posted in a Tchau Orkut blog post earlier today that it’s time to move on beyond Orkut because social networking has really boomed since the 2004 social networking site was born: “Ten years ago, Orkut was Google’s first foray into social networking…Orkut helped shape life online before people really knew what ‘social networking’ was. Over the past decade, YouTube, Blogger, and Google+ have taken off, with communities springing up in every corner of the world. Because the growth of these communities has outpaced Orkut’s growth, we’ve decided to bid Orkut farewell (or, tchau).”
Orkut’s user base consisted of Americans (18%), India residents (~20%), and Brazilians (~50%). Google’s reason for shutting down Orkut may have a lot to do with pushing people towards Google+, YouTube, and Blogger – with the financial resources used for Orkut being better allocated elsewhere.
Despite the end of Orkut, you can still view old discussions online, and Google has said in its statement that it’ll make the old discussions available as online archives on September 30th. Even with Orkut closing down, we’re still wondering what’ll become of Google+.
Social network head Vic Gundotra stepped down some months ago, and Google’s started moving its Google+ to other projects. Interestingly enough, Orkut users will no longer be able to upload Orkut photos to Google+. Perhaps the company’s mention of Google+ photos shows that Mountain View still intends on maintaining its cloud storage feature that’s made Android so popular.