Google Shutting Down Orkut After 10 Years

Google announced the closure of it's first social media attempt — Orkut. The site was launched in 2004 and took off in India and Brazil.
Posted at 3:09 PM, Jul 01, 2014

After a decade of trying to boost its following, Google is shutting down Orkut — the company's first venture into social media.

Google announced Monday the site will close September 30, explaining the company wants to focus on the growth of YouTube, Blogger and Google+. (Via YouTube / Google)

If you've never heard of Orkut, you're probably aren't alone. While the site did garner some success, The Economic Timesreports a majority of the users were from Brazil and India. The United States only accounted for roughly 17 percent of the users. 

Orkut allowed users to maintain relationships online and create a virtual scrapbook. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the site launched in 2004 — the same year as Facebook

Despite some popularity, CNN Money reports Orkut had problems with malicious accounts and other privacy concerns. And the site eventually lost users to Facebook.

In the announcement, Google told users after September 30 they will no longer be able to log in or access photos. 

The Register points out Google carefully avoided suggesting users switch over to the company's other social media site, Google+, as an alternative — most likely because Orkut users will not be provided a way to export their photos to Google+ accounts.

Not all hope is lost, though. Google did offer users a way to save their data using Google Takeout, an archiving tool that allows users to save their files in a downloadable .ZIP.

Google's fate in the social media world remains unclear as the company faces change. The shutdown of Orkut follows the April resignation of Google's Vice President of Social