Facebook: Ramping on Orkut’s decline

Posted by Chetan Bharadwaj | Posted in Media, Review | Posted on 21-07-2009

The swift growth of Facebook and loosing grounds of Orkut recently made me think what is there in the Facebook that Google is lacking to offer in Orkut? And why Orkut failed? And after a lot of search on the internet and personal judgments, I concluded: there are so many reasons out there that really made Google to see decline in this space. I think the reason why people use Facebook (at least, the reason I do) is that it’s fun. I do have access to both an Orkut and Facebook account and find myself using Facebook the majority of the time. I actually prefer Facebook when comparing Orkut versus Facebook from a usability perspective.

Facebook has become very popular in North America over the last few years whereas Orkut is extremely popular in India. Facebook has an origin at the Harvard University and was launched in February, 2004 (just a month after Orkut was launched). Orkut is run by Google and was named after Orkut Buyukkoten (Its creator).

The picture below of the Alexa traffic graph shows how Orkut and Facebook are going in opposite direction. If the circumstances continue to be identical, I bet the day is close when Orkut may close its doors and is scared out of its wit.

Facebook compared to Orkut
Facebook compared to Orkut

DESIGN

Facebook is a great deal professional looking networking website where as Orkut looks to some extent unfinished and the themes make it cartoonish. In Facebook everything is closely integrated in the home page from messaging, to friends update, invites, status update, news feed, links, suggestions, highlights, requests, chat, events and Etc where as in Orkut everything is limply coupled which made it less likable compared to Facebook. There is an issue that – ‘Facebook has a little entry barrier for new folks…’, rather I would like to comment that FB has a simple and professional user interface to which an intelligent user can easily understand at first glance. Though I found ease of accessibility, simplicity in the design and quick access through all the pages within the profile earlier at Orkut, but recently when Orkut introduced its new feature of ‘Themes Library’, I personally started disliking the site on the issues of speed and appearance. Users could change their interface from a wide range of colorful theme library and this lead to slower downloading of the whole system.

APPLICATIONS

With over more than 10,000 application in numbers, Facebook Apps are much better than Orkut. Despite the fact that Orkut was head of Facebook in the beginning it failed to provide new features and updated apps that Facebook provided in the longer run. I’m not astonished to find Orkut ripping several features and ideas from its competitor product in utter despondency. Another annoying thing what most of the user don’t like and Google did not refrain by displaying it is- ‘Bad Bad Server, no donut for you!’ dialogue. It seriously irritates anyone.

STATUS UPDATES

Facebook, much similar to Orkut has a micro-blogging feature of “status updates” which allows users to inform their friends of their current whereabouts, actions, or thoughts. Nevertheless, Facebook proves to be far improved than the latter here again for it allows the people in the network to post their comments and express their likeness towards the post by clicking on ‘like it’ option. Above all, ‘What’s on your mind?’ preference at Facebook let the user share photos, videos and links through attachments within their networks itself.

SECURITY

The security feature is more powerful in Facebook compared to Orkut, On FB one is able to view the profile of others only when the latter is among your connections. Within Orkut you can view people’s profiles details, communities joined, photos, friends, etc regardless if they are a ‘friend’ or not. Open scraps and profiles hence owes to less security.

CHAT

Just as Orkut allow its users to integrate Gtalk within their interface, as of 23rd April, 2008, Facebook Chat was released for the entire FB user base enabling chat with friends on a one-to-one basis. Though both Facebook and Orkut has the feature of chat within their site, well again Facebook is better at this aspect too on the point that it has the facility where one can be invisible to an individual or a group of people.

ACCOUNT NAME

One of the most important reasons why I love Facebook and give full points to it is the directness and the reality that they expect from the user when asking for the ‘Account Name’ or the profile name as one may say. Worst part about Orkut as I mentioned before is that it seems to be more like a cartoonish thing to me. At times it is really difficult or an impossible task to decipher the actual owner of the account from the disgusting and irrelevant profile names they have (above all the profile picture is uploaded of a celebrity and the list of communities and friends are endless and indescribably weird).

COMMUNITY & GROUPS

Groups and communities found on Orkut are most of the time repetitive and have untold figures of duplicates (that too existing together with the same community name). Facebook on the other hand maintains a feature of unique groups and communities. From my personal experience I add that at Orkut people are more concentrated at number and quantity but Facebook strives for the quality. All the more in Orkut beyond 80% of the communities are a waste and are filled with craps of ideas and classified advertisements from individuals as the forum topics within the community with no relation with each other from anywhere. Orkut has now become a mere place of advertisement, unhealthy entertainment and exponential spamming.

Some of the applications and elements to which I give a share for actually making FACEBOOK a fun and the ultimate leader in the internet social networking race are as follow:

MINI FEED

Facebook’s Mini Feed Feature (notifications) is useful in viewing a quick snapshot on the latest happenings within the network.

MYORKUT

The application named as ‘myOrkut’ connects the Orkut profile of the user to Facebook Profile, so that one can see his/ her Orkut friends and read scraps right from Facebook without actually logging into their Orkut account.

GIFTS

This is a virtual gift feature that Facebook added to its website in February 2007. With the help of this application friends could send gifts to each other along with a small text message. Gifts given to a user appear on the recipient’s wall with the message of the giver, unless the giver decided to give the gift privately.

MARKETPLACE

With the launch of the application named as ‘marketplace’ in May 2007, Facebook allowed its users to post free classified ads.

EVENTS

‘Facebook events’ is an application that helps the user inform the people in the network know about the upcoming events in their group and to organize social gatherings. Events can be open, closed, or secret depending upon the event creator.

VIDEO

Facebook video is an application built by the Facebook developers for sharing videos on Facebook, Users can add their videos with the service by uploading video, adding video through Facebook Mobile, and using a webcam recording feature.

URL CHANGE

The most recent and the last change on the Facebook website was ‘URL Change’. Facebook introduced this feature in June 2009 that allowed users to choose a Facebook username to make user location easier. The user is able to direct others to their page through a simple link such as www.Facebook,com/username rather than an otherwise complex URL. This feature spread very quickly on Facebook, with more than 55,000 users registering URL change within 24 hours after the launch.

CAUSE OF REAL DECLINE OF ORKUT

What I feel to be the main reason for the downfall of the ORKUT in India was its sudden gain of popularity among youth. Yes, it’s shocking to accept, I know. Since Orkut had once become the talk of the teens and young, the site started flooding with new members. Having a registered account on Orkut became a must. Above and beyond Orkut started facing very peculiar problems of fake profiles, flooding, spamming & even track of criminal activities going over the interface. Owing to the deactivation of the jail system and high number of profile counts, the unnecessary profiles were often left unremoved or, when removed, recreated easily. Such profiles were normally created to troll, to spam, to flood or just for fun. It was not hard to find users owning more than one profile, with some stating they own hundreds..!!

Another signpost to the collapse of the networking site, Orkut, was Floodtudo (a freeware program made in Delphi in August 2005, by a Brazilian developer). A big spam wave struck Orkut soon when this program which was specifically meant for flooding Orkut was massively used by thousands of spammers all over. There are several more causes for Orkut losing against many other networking sites like Facebook; but aforementioned are some of the points that I feel to be the root cause.

According to me Orkut had earlier proved to be dominating and better than all other networking sites in every aspects for it be in ease of accessibility, GUI friendliness, up to-date apps and softwares, strong security & Etc. But Microsoft’s cunning plan to suppress Google’s such domination over internet by heavily funding Facebook at the right time helped Facebook to get good data centers, and boost its overall performance (finally resulting in the victory of Facebook in the tariff race among the social networking site)

I think that Google really needs to work hard on Orkut to regain the part of market share it actually deserves. It would not be very tough for Google to do so because it already have the user base, all it needs to do is to pull the uses back to Orkut. Also, if the fall of orkut continues it is destined to have the same face as Yahoo! 360 degree which have already called it’s service a close on 13 July, 2009. Wishing that Orkut does not follow it’s lead because after all I have an account at Orkut :)

Best of luck, Orkut (I think it needs a lot of those)!

Comments (13)

  1. Awesome work Chetan!!
    A comparison of this nature and actually be incorporated by some MBAs in their projects!! Hehe!!

  2. cool work chetan..
    u people r going great..

    well as i am reading for the first time anything written by uit feels good to see something coming up from u..

    u used the word cartoon(ish) many times in ur article…
    use wordweb or something good and replace those words with sumthng else….it will give u an edge…try to play with words…

    well..
    as for facebook..
    it is clear…simple yet complicated at times or say for the first timer who has recently come from orkut or something….

    facebook has a lot of things compared to orkut…
    and well organised too…

    on orkut indeed they have introduced themes or say widgets…they r a real loss of our computer resources…they r a pain in the neck really…

    well as of now…
    facebook is the real winner with more than 250 million users crossing recently…

    i guess facebook has really become what u need in a social networking website…

    what say?

    Yogesh
    ygoel.com

  3. Thank you so much yogesh bhaiya for your feedback.. It really matters and obviously serves as an instrument to let me write further..!

    Taking your suggestion seriously, I have made a change in my post with the word ‘cartoonish’; which I myself was feeling too repetitive.

    I really don’t know what is in store for Facebook in coming future (whether it is the real winner or not), but I do know that I have a fun time using it to for keeping in touch with my friends.

    Keep in touch..
    And thank you so much for your comment, once again.

  4. always here for u people man…
    hmm

    tke cre
    b well..

  5. I feel Orkut is the mistake from which facebook earned its power and developments and became famous…
    Facebook built upon a simple framework of orkut.. and came out to be successful, it modified upon the simple features and made it more user friendly, that the USP. clever thinking

  6. Kindly ask Tanker to read this and ask him to be more in Facebook. I am tired of telling that old man.

  7. be it Orkut or Facebook it doesn’t matter so far they are entertaining, connecting, exciting and aluring… thats what the netizens are bothered about. Hey readers by the way I’m at Twiter! 😉

  8. I guess Orkut is on it’s last leg. I doubt it’ll have even a slight presence in the social networking world after the advent of wave. At least I’m happy noob-kingdom is dying. Facebook has less noobs, thankfully. >_>

  9. Good work Chetan.
    Even I would also like to add to it..

    Facebook was developed by a student of Harvard University, Mark Zuckerberg. At the beginning Facebook was limited only to the students of Harward University. But quickly Facebook spread like fire around the other major U.S. Universities. Mark Zuckerberg dropped the Harvard & pursued his dream to make Facebook a patent winner among the race of social networking sites. And today Facebook is ranked 4th in the list of most trafficked websites in the world.
    Interesting fact is that the facebook.com domain name was purchased for $200,000.

    :)

  10. Great!!!!

  11. Thanks Yogesh!

  12. Excellent work! It was something that I needed very much. I was a proud user of Orkut but now this pressure has turned me to Facebook. I want to use Orkut still but I have no choice.

  13. […] If you still go to Orkut, you should embarrassed. Know Why? […]

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