Google to shut down social network Orkut

OrkutGoogle have announced that they will be shutting down their Orkut social network.

The service will officially close on September the 30th at which point everything will be saved as a view only Community Archive. Anyone on the web will be able to browse and read existing topics, comments, and polls but they won’t be able to add new topics, comments, or polls.

Google said in a blog post “Over the past decade, YouTube, Blogger and Google+ have taken off, with communities springing up in every corner of the world. Because the growth of these communities has outpaced Orkut’s growth, we’ve decided to bid Orkut farewell (or, tchau). We’ll be focusing our energy and resources on making these other social platforms as amazing as possible for everyone who uses them”.

Google didn’t release figure on how many people signed up to Orkut, but we know that some 300 million people visit Google+ every month which is dwarfed by the 1.28 billion people on Facebook. One could surmise that in comparison Orkut didn’t have that many users, certainly not enough to make it worthwhile rolling them into Google+.

However if you are an Orkut user your history isn’t lost – Google make it possible to export you profile data, community posts and photos using Google Takeout (available until September 2016), although it’s not quite so clear as to which new social network you’ll be able to import your data into.

The big question of course is “Do you care?”. Has social networking made a difference to your sales? If so is it measurable? Do you know the return on investment? Can you reliably produce a predictable bump in sales from social media activity?

When you can answer those questions for the likes of Facebook and Twitter (and perhaps Google+) it will be time to put some serious work into your social networking. In the mean time marketplaces and your website are a much more reliable source of business and social media selling is, in the main, best left to those with deep pockets and money to burn.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Mykl Roventine