Orkut was the first ever social networking site that introduced the idea of socializing with friends online. In fact, it was launched way back in 2004, even before the term ‘social networking’ was invented.
Those were the times when Orkut had become an addiction for most of us. Everyone that we knew had to have an Orkut profile and it was fun connecting with them through the site. It was a fad that would keep us in front of the screen for hours together.
However, with the introduction of Facebook that obviously offered better features, the popularity of Orkut came down. The name was nowhere even in remembrance after a while. The result was a close down that no one probably even objected with. The reasons for the failure of Orkut were many; yet the major ones included:
Social networking is all about sharing which Orkut probably never understood. It didn’t include any of the social sharing modules or plugins that are so common in all other social networking sites. So, if you had to share something on Orkut, you had to open it on a new tab and then copy paste the content there, which became too cumbersome for many.
You had to logon to Orkut to look for people. When looking for a person, the results would never show up a list of people with the same names. This could have been a security issue; but there was always the option of helping people view details in a protected way without hiding the entire information.
There was no option on Orkut for businesses to open and promote their pages. This made many promoters lose interest in using this application. There was option to create communities; yet the updates would never appear on the home page. You had to go into the community page to look for updates if any.
The major reason behind the survival of so many social networking sites is entertainment or the fun quotient. Orkut totally missed out on entertainment. It had hardly anything for users to hold on to.
The timing that Google chose to launch Orkut was totally wrong. There was hardly any gap between the launching of Orkut and Facebook. Moreover, Orkut was still in a testing phase. It never ever got finalizedtill it was brought down. Google always treated Orkut as an application while Twitter and Facebook are companies that are completely dedicated to social networking.
The major reason for Orkut’s failure was in all probable Facebook ; yet Orkut took no steps to revive itself and match up to its rival. This made Orkut lose its grip on its users who made a rush to Facebook as soon as they started realizing the benefits.
Dr. Hitesh Sharma
Digitize Software Pvt. Ltd. & Bless International Exports