July 14, 2014

The giant social networking site Orkut, named after its creator a Google employee Orkut Büyükkökten, is officially set for its closure on September 30 this year. Orkut was Google’s first initiative to start a social networking website and was officially launched in 2004, gaining immediate popularity and users all over the world.

In the last few years however, with the upcoming of many other social platforms like Facebook, Google+, Youtube and Blogger, which were widely preferred social networking sites, it was becoming clear that Orkut was not having much of a future. Facebook with an estimated 1.28 billion users is quickly becoming the largest networking site on the net. Orkut however has chosen not to disclose its number of users but it seems Orkut is not fortunate enough to survive the enormous competition. More and more users have multiple accounts on different social networking sites and Orkut is losing popularity.

Google has now confirmed that they would focus their energy and resources on more innovative ideas and have decided to shut down Orkut. In order to help make the transition easier, Google Takeout will help the existing users to export their profile information, photos and community posts from Orkut before the site shuts down completely. The site will also stop registering any new users from July onwards and existing users will no longer be able to log in or export photos to Google+ and any APIs tools related to it after the site goes down. Google play and Apple App Store will remove the Orkut app from their stores as well.

To mark its legacy though, Google will create an archive of Orkut’s online communities. The users will have an option to opt out of it by removing their accounts from Google. Employees currently working on Orkut will most probably be shifted to projects on Google+.