Orkut, Goodbye? Hello?

Orkut was a social media networking site launched in 2004 owned and operated by Google and named after its creator Orkut Büyükkökten a Google employee created that ended in 2014.  The social media platforms purpose was for its users to be able to find communities.  As stated by L. Meghan Mahoney and Tang Tang, “Community is a natural necessity for humans” (Mahoney & Tang, 2017 ).  With that being said we can see why social media has become a hit and is addicting, is because its users want to find places where the feel they belong, where they can communicate with other users of like minds.  Social media works because it allows consumers/users to communicate with each other as well as with the platform rather than the business or platform talking “with a mass audience with a single media message” (Mahoney & Tang, 2017).  By giving users the ability to communicate on social media it allows them to share their experiences and stories.

Orkut was a user-friendly platform which made it easy for users to join and move through the site to join communities. It allowed its users to:

Rate other users on how sexy, cool and trustworthy they found each other

Privacy concerns for its users was high

Users could search for classmates and friends

Communities that users could join online schools, workplaces, and residential street groups

Allowed direct communication with others, recommend products and services to their friends with ease

Combine technology and culture (Mahoney & Tang, 2019).

Orkut was a leading social media site in Brazil.  Because outdoor advertising is banned in Brazil there was a wave online marketing.  According to Loren Baker there are several reasons Orkut was a hit in Brazil. Those reasons consisted of:

Brazilians are just very community-oriented.

Orkut is easy to pronounce in Portuguese making it easy to remember.

Users can prequalify the friends they make.

Mobility ease of use.

Competition, awards, fan citations, friendship offerings (Baker, 2009).

Photo by Perry Grone on Unsplash

Being able to attract others in the community that had the same connections which built a strong community of “150,000 communities” (Mahoney & Tang, 2019).  Orkut was a trailblazer in showing how to utilize social networking.  In being one of the firsts, Orkut lost their advantage through:

Novelty wearing off.

Technology changing (growing) and not following the changes.

Stopped meeting the needs of their target audience.

Functionality problems with the website (Mahoney & Tang, 2019).

Competition such as Facebook used better coding and grew faster.

In order to continue to be a leader in social media a platform must keep up with technological advances as well as the needs of their target audience.  Although the interface was user friendly, the issue of slow loading graphics, outdated coding, and something as simple as the homepage being the users profile versus, “…Facebook and Twitter both are different, because the home page is about other people. As soon as you log in, you see what others are doing” (Bhasin, 2018).  Plain and simply put, Orkut fell short because they did not keep up with technology or their users needs.  In this fast-paced world, a company must keep up with the newest tech to stay relevant and to keep their users attention.  One thing I would suggest to Orkut which has rebranded to “Hello Network,” under the same website www.orkut.com and launched in India in 2018, is that they must research their competition, ask their users for feedback to find out what they want, and to use better coding.  According to Dutta Moupiya, Orkut stated, “This app is built specifically for the new mobile-generation seeking to bring people together around their interests to create positive, meaningful, authentic connections” (Moupiya, 2018).  One can hope that Orkut Büyükkökten has learned from the mistakes made with Orkut and that their Hello app will bring him much success and their users what they need and want.  

What are the issues that you find with the platforms you use?

Bhasin, H. (2018, March 09). 7 marketing lessons from Orkut – orkut marketing lessons. Retrieved December 20, 2019, from https://www.marketing91.com/7-marketing-lessons-orkut/

Mahoney, L. M., & Tang, T. (2017). Strategic social media: From marketing to social change. Chichester, United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell.

Moupiya, D. (2018, April 11). New alternative to facebook, Orkut founder Launches hello app in India. Retrieved December 20, 2019, from https://www.techgenyz.com/2018/04/11/orkut-founder-launches-hello-app-india/