Google’s first social network Orkut has shut down

1 Oct 20141 Share

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After operating for more than a decade, Google’s first social network, Orkut, has become the latest to hit the scrap heap. The closure now frees the internet search giant to focus on the Google+ brand.

As reported by The Next Web, Orkut’s demise had been announced in June, allowing users to export their photos and other data. Archives are currently still available to download.

Though a low percentage of the site’s users came from Ireland, it did enjoy a following in other parts of the world, most notably Brazil. Data produced by Alexa.com revealed that 48.8pc of the site’s traffic came from that country. The site’s second largest market was India, which produced 22.8pc of traffic.

“Ten years ago, Orkut was Google’s first foray into social networking,” the site’s engineering director Paulo Golgher had said in a statement

“Built as a ‘20 percent’ project, Orkut communities started conversations, and forged connections, that had never existed before. 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). We’ll be focusing our energy and resources on making these other social platforms as amazing as possible for everyone who uses them.”

It’s been three years since the launch of Google+ and the site continues to lag in popularity when compared to social networking heavyweights, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Since announcing the closure of Orkut, Google has responded to criticism by removing the requirement for people to use their real name when signing up to Google+.

Orkut image via Shutterstock

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Dean is a freelance journalist and editor covering media.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com