Google has announced that it plans to shut down Orkut, the company’s social network that everyone forgot about.The platform has been a ghost town for years, even though Google+ is not that much better off. Either way, starting with September 30, Orkut will no longer be available. This means that if you have photo albums to export from there, you have a few more months to get to it.
Like many other Google products, Orkut was the brain child of the 20 percent initiative that allowed employees to use part of their time in the office to work on a project that was completely unrelated to their regular job. Of course, some ideas are better than others and judging by the lack of success that Orkut had, that’s pretty obvious.
While it had some success ten years ago, when it was launched, it has lost its appeal along the way, especially with alternatives such as Facebook coming along.
Hints have been around that the company would be shutting down Orkut. First of all, no one has heard any Google employee talk about it for a while. Secondly, the Android app was last updated back in February 2012, which is uncommon for a company like Google who always tries to keep its tools up to the latest security standards and compatible with all sorts of devices and OS versions.
Under these circumstances, the bigger surprise is that it took Google so long to shut it down. It does seem, however, that even Google forgot that Orkut was one of its products. After all, the last blog post before the announcement was made back in September 2012.
That being said, Orkut will no longer support new registrations starting today. Those who are still on the platform can access the service as normal and will be able to do so until the end of September.
The community is being given time to manage the transition, to export their profile data, community posts and photos using Google’s Takeout service.
Google said that it would save all the site’s public communities in an archive as a way to mark Orkut’s legacy and to make sure there’s something left to remind everyone that this was an actual network for ten years.
“It's been a great 10 years, and we apologize to those still actively using the service. We hope people will find other online communities to spark more conversations and build even more connections for the next decade and beyond,” said Google’s Paulo Golgher, engineering director.