New Delhi: Orkut, Google's first social networking site, will cease to exist after September, with the Internet giant deciding to shut down the service launched 10 years ago.
Orkut will shut down on September 30. Pic / AFP
Google said it will shut down Orkut, which is very popular in India and Brazil, on September 30. The service, however, did not do so well in other parts of the world and lost sheen to rivals like Facebook.
Orkut, which popularised posts or "scraps" between friends, did not disclose the number of users on the website. However, according to its website about 50.6 per cent of its users were from Brazil. Another 20.44 per cent came from India, while the US and Pakistan accounted for 17.78 per cent and 0.86 per cent, respectively.
"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," Google said in a post on the Orkut blog.
Orkut was launched in 2004, the same year when Facebook was founded. Facebook is now the world's largest social network with 1.28 billion users. Orkut was the result of a "20 per cent project" in which Google workers got to spend a fifth of their time on ideas not necessarily related to their job responsibilities.
Google launched its Google+ social network 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.
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 comScore. Google said it would preserve an archive of all Orkut communities that will be available from September 30.
"If you don't want your posts or name to be included in the community archive, you can remove Orkut permanently from your Google account," Google said.