It’s Almost Time to Say Goodbye to Orkut
Google is pulling the plug on Orkut on September 30, 2014. New accounts cannot be created anymore but if you already have an account for Orkut, you can still sign in by going to Orkut.com and signing into the Google account you originally used to sign up for the social networking service.
Until September 30, 2014, you can:
- Log in and play games/use your account
- Export your photo albums to Google+
- Download your Orkut information
To download your Orkut information in a single ZIP file, use Google Takeout. You can download the following information from Orkut:
- Your profile
- Scraps received
- Your photos
You can do this until September 2016.
After Orkut shuts down, you will no longer be able to:
- Log in to Orkut, obviously
- Export your photo albums to Google+
- Access the Orkut apps and games
Public communities will be viewable in a public Community Archive.
Orkut, the Journey
Orkut is a social networking site founded in January 2004. It was named after the Google engineer who developed it. His name was Orkut Buyukkokten. Clearly, Orkut was way easier to spell and use than Buyukkokten!
Orkut is easy enough to pronounce: The emphasis is on the “or” while the “kut” is short.
When it was founded, Orkut was Google’s first foray into social networking. The subsequent updates and redesigns made it a leading social network in India and Brazil in 2008.
- It was, at some point, the fastest and easiest social network to use. You could browse photos, check your friend’s profile and view updates faster than ever
- The homepage was excellent. Large photos, notifications that are easy to access and fast navigation, it was all there
- Being a Google product, Orkut also allowed for easy navigation to the other Google properties
- Photos were easy to upload and share. You could select multiple photos and upload them all at once, reordering them as you please by dragging and dropping.
Other than that, Orkut also allows for extensive customization of profiles. You could:
- Make your profile your own by picking your favorite theme and giving your profile a unique look
- Do more than just write about yourself in the “About me” section. You could add a Youtube video or even embed apps
- Find your friends quickly and easily. On Orkut, finding friends was one of the most important activities so the Orkut “find friends” feature was smart
Other commendable features of Orkut included:
- A more dynamic friend list
- Friends’ updates on your homepage
- Posting scraps
- Video chat
A Quick Timeline
- Orkut was founded on January 24, 2004
- On August 25, 2007, Orkut announced a redesign
- By August 30, 2007, most users on Orkut could see changes as per the new redesign
- On August 31, 2007, Orkut announced new features. This included the release of Orkut in 6 new languages
- On September 4, 2007, Orkut announced that users can now see real-time updates from their friends in a box on the homepage
- On October 27, 2009, Orkut announced a second redesign. The new Orkut was faster, simpler and more customizable
- On June 30, 2014, Google announced it will be shutting down Orkut on September 30, 2014
But Why is Google Shutting Down Orkut?
Ten years ago, Orkut was Google’s first attempt to test the social networking waters. Orkut communities formed and conversations started. In essence, Orkut helped shape life online as we know it now before people really knew what “social networking” was.
But over the last decade, with social networks and communities springing up everywhere and the other Google properties like YouTube, Blogger and Google+ out-performing Orkut in terms of growth and popularity, the search engine kahuna decided to pull the plug on Orkut and focus all its energy on expanding the other social platforms.
More about Orkut Shutting Down
After Orkut shuts down on September 30, 2014, you will no longer be able to log into the social site but you will have the option to save your photos, scraps and testimonials using Google Takeout until September 2016. Other than that, you can also export your photo albums to Google+ until September 30, 2014.
You however cannot transfer your Orkut profile to Google+ completely. All you can do is connect your Google+ profile to your Orkut profile. Connecting the two profiles will not transfer any information but it will make it easier for your friends on Orkut to find you on Google+.
Other than that, note that it’s not possible to transfer your Orkut communities to Google+. What you can do is create a new Google+ community and connect it to your Orkut community. This will cause the members of your Orkut community to see a banner asking them if they wish to join the new Google+ community.