Google announced in June that it would shut down its original social networking service Orkut after ten years of existence. At the time, they set the death date as September 30th, and that day has come.
Orkut never quite caught on in our neck of the woods, but was pretty popular in Brazil at one point, with Facebook finally overtaking it in that country two years ago. Apparently there’s not even enough of an active user base left to justify keeping it around (although if Google Reader is any indication, an active user base isn’t even enough sometimes).
The company says its other products like Blogger, YouTube, and Google+ have taken off, and outpaced Orkut’s growth, so it’s just going to stick with them (another indication that Google+ isn’t really going away anytime soon).
Orkut, like many other Google products, was originally conceived as a “20 percent” project. According to Google, it “helped shape life online before people really knew what ‘social networking’ was.”
Google will refocus its Orkut resources on its remaining social properties. Users can export their data, posts, and photos using Google Takeout until September 2016.
Google will leave up an archive of all public communities, but has given users the ability to opt out of having their posts included.
“It’s been a great 10 years, and we apologize to those still actively using the service,” sayid engineering director Paulo Golgher when the closure was first announced. “We hope people will find other online communities to spark more conversations and build even more connections for the next decade and beyond.”
Google talks more about "preserving Orkut's history" here.
Image via Orkut