Finally, Orkut was shut down, yesterday. It is the first social networking site which enabled us to find our lost friends and chat with them. Before Orkut, it was Yahoo Chatroom where we then college students used to hangout to socialize and make virtual friends. While the young generation does liking and commenting on Facebook, back in early 2000s – in our time – terms such as Scraps and Testimonials were pretty cool. I will not say that Orkut was a better social network, but it definitely made the concept of social networking popular, especially in India. Well, that was almost a decade ago.
Both Orkut and Facebook were launched in 2004. While Facebook has become the world’s largest social network with over 1.2 billion users, but it was Orkut which gained popularity in India first.
Orkut was very popular in India, but lost its sheen to rivals like Facebook and Twitter in other parts of the world, leading to its closure, I think so.
Facebook keeps innovating, while Orkut stopped experimenting with the site after Google launched its social networking site Google+ in 2011 and has been slowly weaving it into other services. While Google+ was positioned to compete with Facebook in the beginning, over the last few years, it has established Google+ as a unified “user identity” system. Google+ failed to give sleepless nights to Facebook, but turned out to be far more popular than Orkut. While Orkut wasn’t a big success across the world, it was very popular in the Indian sub-continent. Last year, for example, Google began requiring users of its YouTube site to sign in with their Google+ identity before posting comments about videos.
In a blog post, Google said, “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”.
In 2010, Facebook overtook Orkut as the top social networking site in India with 20.9 million visitors in July that year compared to Orkut’s 16 per cent growth with 19.9 million visitors, according to research firm.
If you want to revisit your long ignored Orkut profile, now is the best time to do so and backup you data. September 30 was the last day for you to export your photos to Google+, although you can download your Orkut profile, scraps, testimonials, community posts and photos to your computer via Google Takeout until September 2016.
The company had asked people to remove their Orkut account from Google permanently if they didn’t want their name or posts to be included in the community archive. After September 30 you will not be able to log in to Orkut, you will not be able to export your photo albums to Google+, apps, APIs, and games will no longer be available, and public communities will be saved in a publicly viewable Community Archive.
One of the options is to download a zip file of your Orkut content. Visit Google Takeout page, where you would see Orkut already checked. Google will provide photos in their original upload format, while your Orkut profile will be provided as a set of HTML files. After having clicked Next button, you are directed to download page, where you have the liberty to choose the file download type – .zip or .tgz. Archives larger than 2GB will be split into multiple .zip files. After Google is done with creating your archive, it sends you a link so you can download it to your personal device.
Another option is to merge your Orkut photos to the linked Google+ profile. Visit Orkut’s album export page, select albums you want to export. You can simply choose “Select all”. Google then transfers your photos to Google+.
Thank You Orkut for those wonderful years.