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Orkut|History of orkut

Orkut Home Page Screenshot April 2012.png
Orkut is a social networking website that is owned and operated by Google. The service is designed to help users meet new and old friends and maintain existing relationships. The website is named after its creator, Google employee Orkut Büyükkökten. Although Orkut is less popular in the United States than competitors Facebook and Google+, it is one of the most visited websites in India and Brazil. As of October 2011, 59.1% of Orkut's users are from Brazil, followed by India with 27.1% and Japan with 6.7%.
Originally hosted in California, in August 2008 Google announced that Orkut would be fully managed and operated in Brazil, by Google Brazil, in the city of Belo Horizonte. This was decided due to the large Brazilian user base and growth of legal issues.
As of October 2012, Alexa traffic ranked Orkut.com 746th and Orkut.com.br 738th in the world; the web site currently has over 33 million active users worldwide.
An Orkut user can also add videos to their profile from either YouTube or GoogleVideo with the additional option of creating either restricted or unrestricted polls for polling a community of users. There is an option to integrate GTalk (An instant messenger from Google) with Orkut enabling chatting and file sharing. Currently GTalk has been integrated in Orkut – users can directly chat from their Orkut page. Similar to Facebook, users may also use a "like" button to share interests with friends.


A new feature in Orkut is Changing Themes. Users can change their interface from a wide range of colorful themes in library. Themes are currently only available in India, Brazil, the United States, and Pakistan.

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Each member can become a fan of any of the friends in their list and can also evaluate whether their friend is "Trustworthy", "Cool", "Sexy" on a scale of 1 to 3 (marked by icons) and this is aggregated in terms of a percentage. Unlike Facebook, where a member can view profile details of people only on their network, Orkut allows anyone to visit anyone's profile, unless a potential visitor is on your "Ignore List" (this feature has been recently changed so that users can choose between showing their profile to all networks or specified ones). Importantly, each member can also customize their profile preferences and can restrict information that appears on their profile from their friends and/or others (not on the friends list). Another feature is that any member can add any other member on Orkut to his/her "Crush List" and both of them will be informed only when both parties have added each other to their "Crush List".
When a user logs in, they see the people in their friends list in the order of their logging into the site, the first person being the latest one to do so. Orkut's competitors are other social networking sites including MySpace and Facebook. Ning is a more direct competitor, as they allow creation of social networks which are similar to Orkut's communities.


Orkut was quietly launched on January 22, 2004 by Google. Orkut Büyükökten, a Turkish software engineer, developed it as an independent project while working at Google. While previously working for Affinity Engines, he had developed a similar system, In Circle, intended for use by university alumni groups. In late June 2004, Affinity Engines filed suit against Google, claiming that Büyükkökten and Google based Orkut on In Circle code. The allegation is based on the presence of 9 identical bugs in Orkut that also exist in In Circle.



First redesign

On August 25, 2007, Orkut announced a redesign and the new UI contained round corners and soft colors, including small logotype at upper left corner, this redesign has been announced on the official Orkut Blog. By August 30, 2007, most users on Orkut could see changes on their profile pages as per the new redesign. On August 31, 2007, Orkut announced its new features including improvements to the way you view your friends, 9 rather than 8 of your friends displayed on your homepage and profile page and basic links to your friends' content right under their profile picture as you browse through their different pages. It also announced the initial release of Orkut in 6 new languages: Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu. Profile editing can take place by clicking the settings button under the user profile photo (or alternatively, clicking the blue settings link at the top of any page). On September 4, 2007, Orkut announced another new feature. user would be able to see an "Updates from your friends" box on the homepage, where it's possible to get real-time updates when friends make changes to their profiles, photos and videos. Moreover, in case someone wants to keep some things on their profile private, Orkut has added an easy opt-out button on the settings page. Scraps were also HTML-enabled letting users post videos or pictures. On November 8, 2007, Orkut greeted its Indian users Happy Diwali by allowing them to change their Orkut look to a Diwali-flavored reddish theme. On April Fools' Day 2008, Orkut temporarily changed its name on its webpage to yogurt, apparently as a prank. On June 2, 2008, Orkut has launched its theming engine with a small set of default themes. Photo tagging also was available.

Second redesign: New Orkut

On October 27, 2009, Orkut released their 2nd redesigned version It was available to very few users at first (the chosen ones as they were called). These users were able to send invites to their Orkut friends to join this new version. The new version uses Google Web Toolkit (GWT) and thus makes extensive use of AJAX in the user interface. However, the users of the new version of Orkut can switch back to the older version by clicking the "Older Version" link near the top right corner of the page.
Google stated the new Orkut is faster, simpler and more customizable. More particular features includes video chat, promotions and easy navigation.
The look is completely new, leaving all traces of past designs. User interface and workflow are also drastically changed. As part of "more customizable", Orkut added many different colours for your profile. The Themes were removed and an Orkut badge is visible for those who haven't changed to the new Orkut. The new logo also has the word "My" in it, as in My Orkut. Mouse over to logo scrolls out list of 4 most frequently used links. Vertical scroll bars have been added in the friend and community list in the home page to allow viewing all friends/communities from the home page itself. In the home page, the recent visitor's list now displays six most recent visitor's profile image as small clickable icons. Hovering the mouse over these pictures display the visitor's profile name as a tooltip. Orkut allows users to sign in with their Google Mail, or Gmail, credentials.

Messages Black Hole

Before the introduction of the New Orkut, users had two options to message friends: via the scrapbook (equivalent to the Facebook wall) or by sending a private message (identical to the Facebook feature). Since the New Orkut introduced a privacy control for scraps posted to the scrapbook, the messages system was disabled in this version, but not for those still using the old version. This created a strange situation in which messages sent by a user of the old version to someone using the New Orkut go completely unnoticed by its recipient (the New Orkut does not inform the user of these lost messages, that can only be read if he/she switches back to the old version).
Nipun Tyagi. Powered by Blogger.