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Orkut Gets New Features; About Time Google Shuts It Down?

Orkut has launched Conversations, a notification page that alerts users in case they receive new scraps or comments on the content that they’ve shared. According a post on the Orkut Blog, the new feature would be rolled out to all users in a few days. At the time of writing this post, we were not able to see it on our Orkut page. Following this addition, users will also not be able to see comments that they make on scraps on their scrapbook page, and these will instead appear on the conversation page, which will be private to the user. (How many of us actually made use of that feature? Most migrated to Facebook before it was rolled out.)

Does this really make a difference? Orkut has been dying a slow death, with little or no growth and a large number of inactive users According to a recent survey conducted by Ibope Nielsen Online in Brazil, where Orkut was the dominant social network till 2009, Facebook has now surpassed Orkut, in terms of the number of users. While Facebook has 30.9 registered users in Brazil, Orkut has about 29 million, with no new user additions in the recent months. Brazil and India are the two markets where Orkut used to be more popular than Facebook, till it lost stream and failed to compete in terms of new feature addition, and offering more value adds. Orkut also failed on offering a good mobile experience, when other social networks are much more mobile friendly. Globally, Facebook claims to have 800 million active users while Orkut declared 66 million.

In the recently concluded F8 Conference, Facebook announced several new features including Timeline, and Media and Social Apps among other additions. On the other hand, Orkut still has a subpar interface with minimal product features.Twitter continues to gain momentum and this is majorly due to wider mobile-focused implementation, as users share what they do, even when they’re not sitting in front of a computer.  Meanwhile, we’re still waiting for the promised Activity tab and the enhance @mentions page on Twitter.

At a time when Google wants everyone to hop onto Google+, a much more modern social network, compared to Orkut, why is it that it’s not migrating users to one social network, and continues to invest resources on an obsolete platform?

With Inputs from Anupam Saxena

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