Orkut is a very interesting case study. I never heard of it before. I didn’t know it existed, and I’m willing to bet no else did either. At its peak is supposedly had 30 million people. That sounds like a lot but…meh if I’m not mistaken Facebook hit the 50 million mark in two years. Orkut took almost 10 years to hit that mark! I don’t mean to bash on this poor company, because obviously it did well for a time, but I feel its important to really analyze how it failed, and where it could have spent more attention.
Orkut had a simple interface; you could join communities and connect with anyone you wanted. You could also rate your friends, and become fans of each other. Whatever the hell that means. Orkut was essentially the bare bones skeleton version of what Facebook would grow into.
Orkut had no like button, or any way to upvote a piece of content. This is a very basic interaction feature for people. They had no notifications, which is another huge feature left out. Having a news feed was another thing left out, and oddly enough on Orkut you could see who had been snooping on your profile page! How creepy is that? Facebook allows you to stalk each other in secret. Don’t say you don’t do it; WE ALL DO IT!
Facebook was also built with the mobile phone in mind, and was constantly updating its user interface from feedback. Orkut remained slow, didn’t update as often, and for whatever reason just gave up? That’s the one thing that boggles my mind. Google whose current stock price is close to $1,200 a share can’t keep a social media site around to save their life.
Social Media graveyard of Google;
This case study also spoke about how for whatever reason Orkut was HUGE in Brazil. This is kind of like how David Hasselhoff is popular in Germany, but no one knows why. The growth of Orkut in Brazil was a fluke, and google never marketed the site toward Brazilians in the early years at least. Google actually touted the site in 2011 and its 32.7 million users in Brazil. Six months later Facebook took that lead, and left them in the dust. By late 2012 Facebook had 92.8% of the Brazilian pie of users.
The one thing I’m able to gleam from this case study is that google had a potential hit on its hands and they let it fail. They didn’t listen to its users, they didn’t update the platform, and couldn’t figure out how the competition was beating them. It just boggles my mind, they obviously have the resources and the man power, why did they just give up and let it fail? Then again I’m not selling at $1,200 a share, so maybe my opinion doesn’t really matter?
Check out this site! Very interesting stuff;