Case Study: 10 reasons why Google is shutting down Orkut

Google will be shutting down Orkut after September 30, 2014. What are the reasons for its demise? Read and find out.

Created On: Jul 10, 2014 17:55 IST
Modified On: Jul 14, 2014 17:15 IST



Ten years back Google launched a social networking website called It was launched with the aim of providing a platform to meet old friends and make new ones. The website was named after the creator of the platform and a google employee Orkut Büyükkökten. It was one of the most popular social networking websites when it was launched. Now that it is going to be a history from 30 September 2014, we are taking you through the probable reasons of its lost popularity.

 Features provided by Orkut:

  1. Add friends
  2. Send scraps to people (Scrapbook) – These messages are visible to all.
  3. Send personal messages to each other
  4. Post videos
  5. Integrate G talk
  6. Option of liking each other`s activities
  7. Restricted and unrestricted community polls
  8. Customizing themes
  9. Becoming a fan of each other
  10. Rating your friends


There are plenty of social networking websites, but the popular ones which are similar to Orkut in their services are Facebook, My Space and Ning. Facebook turned out to be the most popular of all and saw the kind of growth which no other site has seen. Both Facebook and orkut were launched in the same year viz. 2004. Facebook has grown a lot since then. Let us understand what does Facebook offers.

Features provided by Facebook:

User begins with creating their own profile, mentioning the basic personal details like Name, Location, Age, Profile picture etc. User can customize their profiles and choose what to show and what not. The basic features provided in Facebook are:

  1. Have a personal profile
  2. Add friend
  3. Send personal messages
  4. Status updates
  5. Posting videos and photos
  6. Get notified about other friend`s activities
  7. Option of liking and sharing activities
  8. Becoming part of groups
  9. Sharing Life Events
  10. Organizing friends

These are the major features which Facebook provides, other than these Facebook brings in many features on a regular basis. Recently they launched a one minute movie which was very popular. They also use their site for advertisements which brings in revenue for them. They have over one billion users now and increasing every day. Facebook also came up with its IPO.

Let us try to understand the weakness of Orkut which launched in the same year but is going to be shut now.

What Orkut lacked:

Orkut saw a decline in its number of users on a continuous basis. There are many reasons for it. In India specifically, people shifted from Orkut to Facebook. Here we are mentioning the reasons for Facebook`s success which in a way are the reasons for Orkut`s failure.

  1. Like Button: The like button was an extremely simple way of voting up a piece of content or photograph. There was no such feature in Orkut.
  2. Notifications: The mark on top showing notifications makes the user revisit the website continuously and hence increases user interaction.
  3. No Recent Visitors Feature: You can browse other people's profiles without worrying about them knowing it on Facebook unlike Orkut where one can see who visited their profile.
  4. News Feed: The news feed is so intelligently developed that it provides you with fresh content everytime. Yo do not need to hunt for fresh content. There was no substitute of it on Orkut.
  5. Non Business minded: Orkut is not business friendly while Facebook is. Orkut does not provide business page creation.
  6. Games: Facebook has launched interesting and engaging games from time to time while Orkut did not.
  7. Visual Appeal: Visually Facebook is lot more appealing than Orkut.
  8. User Friendly: Facebook is lot more user friendly and simple to use than Orkut.
  9. Technical reasons: There are technical reasons also. Orkut is based on ASP and Javascript; these two combinations are too tough to manage. Facebook uses PHP, one of the simplest languages.
  10. Search: Orkut profiles cannot be found without logging in.

Orkut is most popular in Brazil and it is going to be shut in September 2014. It could have been as big as Facebook or more, if the growth and changes made in the platform would have been synced with the present time.

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