Orkut: How Facebook killed Google’s original social network

Lynsey Barber
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Facebook's popularity overtook Orkut only in 2011 (Source: Reuters)

Google’s original social network Orkut was bigger than Facebook in emerging markets such as Brazil and India just a couple of years ago. Now Google’s closing it down.

Brazilians love social media- it’s the second biggest market for Facebook outside the US when it comes to user numbers and one of YouTube’s top five markets by revenue.

Until surprisingly recently, December 2011 to be exact, Orkut was the most popular social network in Brazil.

Less than two years later, Facebook’s lead was so far ahead that it had a 74 per cent market share compared with Orkut’s 0.97 per cent.

And now, Google has decided to close Orkut completely after 10 years. In a blog post, the rise of Google’s other properties such as YouTube and Google+ are said to have prompted the decision, but it looks like Facebook planted a big blue thumbs up flag in the Copacabana.

Here's interest in Orkut, Facebook, YouTube and Google+ in Brazil over time from Google Trends.

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