Orkut Intentionally Shrinks Its Numbers

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Many companies like to inflate the number of users they claim to have.  Not Google.  Although Orkut used to accidentally overstate communities’ membership counts, the social network is now working to correct the problem.

“As a result, some large communities saw a drop of 100 members,” noted Leonardo Mesquita, a software engineer, on the Orkut Blog.  “This was just an initial adjustment.  Now we’re working to keep this and other counters correct all of the time.”

I’m genuinely surprised that the company would (a) address this problem, and (b) publicly admit to its existence.  Not that this is a major issue (like, say, Facebook’s subpoena), but it’s still not the sort of thing that’s usually discussed.

One has to wonder, then, what motivation Orkut had to make this move.  Sure, Google’s back there somewhere, and we all know how good and kind the search giant is.  But it looks as if Orkut is being brought into shape for, well, something.

I can’t say it will be a Facebook competitor – in America, the gap’s just too large for that to happen in the near future.  Still, over the past couple of months, Orkut has undergone a facelift, gained a Facebook-like “updates from your friends” box, and, in a move to appease users, removed AdSense ads.  Orkut probably hadn’t seen that many changes in the couple of years previous.

With all these changes, Orkut may soon see its user count rise again.

Orkut Intentionally Shrinks Its Numbers
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