MUMBAI: It was in 2004 when internet got one of its first social media network – Orkut. Google, the online media giant that had launched Orkut, picked up its business from then. With competitiveness creeping in the online space, the popularity of Orkut gradually fell. Thanks to Facebook and Twitter that has grabbed the attention of netizens during the course of time.
After a decade, Google has decided to shut down the social networking site which got its user base from countries like India and Brazil. The company took the decision so that it could focus on its other social businesses such as Google+ and YouTube. Internet users will not be able to log on to their Orkut account post 30 September 2014.
Indiantelevision.com goes down the memory lane with digital professionals and notes few things that will be missed about Orkut.
Scraps, communities and profile views will always be remembered!
Messages in the Orkut era were called scraps. Like-minded people could create communities. One could even see who all viewed his/her profile. The number of testimonials defined the popularity quotient.
Mindshift Interactive founder & CEO Zafar Rais recalls scrapping as a fun tool to interact with friends and the profile visits as a great way to know who's keeping a check on your profile; a feature that is consistently famous on social networks, till date.
For ibs managing director Sabyasachi Mitter the site was our introduction to social media. “The funniest memory I have of Orkut is to login every day and see who has viewed my profile. And, then go across and see who they were. Some new friends were made that way. Also, to count the number of scraps and compare this with friends was something I remembering doing. The numerous discussions in groups and the sheer volume of conversations were fond memories,” he recalls.
Similarly, FoxyMoron creative head – north Kumar Abhishek who also belongs to the Orkut generation that looked forward to know who viewed his profile. “It was always exciting and fun to find a girl I may have liked or had a crush on in the list of those who viewed my profile,” he mentions.
According to BBDO Proximity India Digital creative leader Dinesh Swamy when Orkut began, it was one of its kind experiences. “It was ‘cool’ to be there. One memory which I can recall is that we created a group only for family members, just for gossiping. We enjoyed that phase, but by the time brands started leveraging, people lost interest in it and moved on to other social networking sites. I don’t remember when was the last time I scrapped,” says Swamy.
Advertising wish list!
There were a few brands that partnered with the social networking site for display ads. However, it can be noted that Google had pulled all AdSense ads from Orkut in 2007.
If given a chance to endorse a brand on Orkut, Rais would have endorsed brands with a larger mass and youth appeal so anything within the FMCG to retail sector would have done exceptionally well.
“The one brand would have loved to have seen on Orkut is Oreo,” said Mitter. “If I had the chance to endorse a brand on Orkut, it would be Foster's as a 'daaaamn cold' beer is best enjoyed with friends only,” adds Abhishek.
Having said this, Orkut will always remain special for early Internet users!
We will miss you Orkut.