The End of an Era: Facebook finally overtakes Google's Orkut in Brazil
For all the news about Google's desperate efforts to catch up with Facebook using Google +, a recent news report passed quietly under the radar. Facebook has now surpassed Google's social media network Orkut in Brazil
Very few people in the US know that in 2004 Google launched a social network called Orkut, almost simultaneously as Facebook was born. Orkut was widely successful in countries such as Brazil and India and appealed to a narrow but not insignificant segment of users in the U.S. At the end of July 2004 Orkut surpassed the 1,000,000 member mark, and at the end of September it surpassed the 2,000,000 mark.
As of September 2006 there were about 28 million users on Orkut vs. Facebook's 8-9 million users. Incredibly Google felt it that it did not show enough promise and let Orkut languish. My Space had at the time about 100 million users and signed a US$900 million three year advertisement deal with Google. Eventually the management of Orkut was transferred in 2008 to Brazil.
In the meantime, Facebook became an example of innovation via iteration, undergoing several transformations to optimize its appeal and broaden its user base, reaching 800 million users in September 2011. Thus, Google let Facebook go unchallenged for years even though they had the tools to become what Facebook is today. Orkut had about 66 million active users worldwide as of October 2011.
Buzz, Google’s second attempt to build a social media network, was launched in February 2010 and discontinued in December 2011. Facebook is continuing to eat away at the remaining market share of Orkut, and Google is desperately trying with their 3rd attempt, Goggle +, to avoid losing a huge share of advertising revenue to the Facebook juggernaut.
When the history of the Social Media battles is written, Google's decision to abandon Orkut will be right on par to saying no to the Beatles.
Facebook finally overtakes Google's Orkut in Brazil