The once popular social networking site Orkut just got the axe from Google. This website was incredibly popular with people BRIC countries, especially in Brazil and India. Because of those countries’ growth on the internet and the network’s popularity in those countries, it saw amazing growth over the past few years. Orkut itself was actually managed and run by Google Brazil and will continue to until the company shuts down all operations in September.
Google says that Orkut users will be able to save their data using Google Takeout if they wish to and will have until September to do so. Additionally, Google will not be accepting any new users for the social network starting today. They will also allow users to get a chance to switch over to Google+ but they’re not forcing any migrations like they did with YouTube and the commenting system. Speaking of YouTube, the reasons that Google cited for Orkut’s demise have to do with the fast growth and popularity of Blogger, Google+ and YouTube as social platforms. Which, while true, doesn’t make sense why Google would need to KILL Orkut.
Sure, Orkut is now 10 years old, and it seems as though Google has decided to kill Orkut on its 10th anniversary rather than give it a face lift. Google clearly believes that they are better off with Google+, YouTube and Blogger than they are with Orkut doing its own thing. I suspect that there are going to be a lot of pretty angry Brazilians when you consider that nearly 50% of the site’s traffic comes from Brazil alone. Sure, that’s a fairly scary statistic for a website that used to primarily serve people from the US, but it doesn’t change the fact that it was still getting traffic. Perhaps this is the perfect time to do so, make an unpopular decision while all of the Brazilians are distracted by their team playing in the World Cup and watching all of the games.