RIP Orkut

Finally Google has decided to shutdown it’s previously famous social networking site – Orkut.


Orkut is a social networking website that is owned and operated by Google. The service was designed to help users meet new and old friends and maintain existing relationships. The website is named after its creator, Google employee Orkut Büyükkökten.

  • Shut down date on September 30, 2014
  • You can export your profile data, community posts and photos using Google Takeout (available until September 2016)
  • You can’t create new accounts after June 30, 2014

Orkut had faced various challenges in the past, when it was in the lime lite:
Orkut Like Button
Orkut turns 5 — “Happy Birthday Orkut”
Major Design Makeover: Orkut!
Make Money From Orkut
Attack On Orkut: Ruim Sabado!
Tips to write “about me” section in Orkut.

“Cool, Promote it!” Orkut secret link: Get a rank badge

Its been some time since Orkut started allowing its users to advertise their business on Orkut, with ‘promote’ feature: a free tool to help you spread the news to all your orkut friends…and beyond!

At first I thought this could be a great opportunity for bloggers and marketers to explore and leverage from Orkut community. But to my dis-appointment, there are many people who are randomly creating some community message and asking to promote it! And the dis-appointing things is, these communities are not at all taken care by anyone, people just create it, promote it and forget it 🙁

So, am I saying this Orkut promote is waste of time? No. Since many Orkut users have no idea about how to set this up or what to do with this feature, its a great thing for few people who understand and have some goals to achieve from it.

Here are some points to keep in mind to write a good copy
1. First make sure whatever you are trying to promote is of use to the users.
2. Let your message be clear.
3. Don’t tell half things and ask them to click the link to read rest of your story. Everyone is busy with their life!
4. Make sure you have a call to action.
Ex: You can ask people to promote it or you may ask people to do something after seeing your ad.

How Orkut promote works:
When you first create a promotion, only your friends will be able to see your promotion. Once any of your friends click on “Cool, promote it!” button, the promotion copy will be shown to their friends.. and so on.

Secret Link!
Some months back Orkut stated showing a secret link(promo URL) in the promotion page, using which we could ask our friends and followers to promote our ad copies. But in just 24hrs time, they removed that feature. Now once again they have introduced the same feature. So just grab the links and ask your friends to promote it.

Log into your Orkut account -> Applications -> Promote -> (Promo URL)

orkut badges

If you are on Orkut, promote our stuffs too.

Here are the links to some of our promotions:
Promotion 1
Promotion 2
Promotion 3
Promotion 4
Promotion 5
Promotion 6

Orkut Badge:
Recently Orkut also introduced ranking users based on some criteria, one of which is based on the number of views of your promotion.

orkut badges

So, if you still care about Orkut and want some exposure and the badge!, then go ahead, grab these secret links and promote them.

By the way, I am on facebook at 🙂

It may not be a promotion as beneficial as that on Facebook and Twitter, but it has got me 500 – 600 visitors to my website so far, which is not bad for a small site.

Target Advertising – What We Can Learn?

Target advertising has become a major success in web advertising industry. We see this in action every day on most of the websites.
Google has implemented this into their adwords system so the ads may seem more and more relevant and according to the user interest.

Example Ad:
Orkut has a lot of users from India and it collects various user data like internet speed, demographics etc — get a clue from their advertise page This is used effectively for advertising.

Video: Airtel Broadband ad on Orkut — Target Advertising

Airtel broadband ads are more targeted to low bandwidth users and these ads show the ease of uploading photos to Orkut using their high speed internet connection.

Take away message:
1. We can learn how to advertise our content, product, service effectively.
2. We should sell at a place where we have our potential customers.
3. The ad copy must convey the message properly.
4. Showing the result in action.
Ex: Showing how your product has helped someone reach their goal or improve their business or life.

Promote Your Business/Blog/Service on Orkut: FREE!

After status update, suggested friends, chat, SMS, widgets etc features, here comes one more important and most awaited feature orkut ‘promote’: a free tool to help you spread the news to all your orkut friends…and beyond!

Now marketers, bloggers can invest their time in tweaking the ad copy to impress Orkut users, to drive traffic, leads and sales.

When you first create a promotion, only your friends will be able to see it. Once they click on “promote it!”, their friends can see it.. and so on.

To see the number of clicks, views, Promotions, Trashes, goto “promote”, then click on “my promotions” tab.

Source: Orkut Blog

Ad format support:
For content creation, it supports Text, Image or YouTube Video. Text also supports the regular scrap markup, and is limited to 200 characters.
Only images that you have uploaded to Orkut and which is set to public viewing can be used. You can stop or delete a promotion that you’ve created at any time.

How to make your promotional content VIRAL ?
It is obvious that, the content that you are showcasing must be interesting. Along with that, you have to have friends who you actually know. If you just add every friend request and have no idea of who it is, then you most probably will not receive vote for your content(ad).

On the other hand, if you have 1000 active, and known friends your content will go VIRAL very soon.

1. If you are a blogger, you can find 1000 blog readers in Orkut and send them friend request.
After they have accepted the friend request, you can use your blog logo and good ad copy to promote your blog/product/service/business.
2. Publish your “Orkut Promotion ads” on your blog, so that your readers are familiar with the ad copy, and can vote for you when they see it in Orkut.
3. Remember, there are more Indian and Brazilian citizens using Orkut, so language also counts. It depends on who you are targeting and more importantly who your friends are.


New things to be expected from Orkut:
1. Algorithm to track people who are trying to game the system.
2. Ability to create a Vanity URL for our profile.
3. Indexable by search engines(except the data which is set private)

Down side:
Also expect
1. More spammers.
2. More scammers, telling that they will make your ad to be shown to millions of Orkut users.
3. More and more people wasting their time trying to game the system.

Do not ignore the potential of promoting your business on Orkut. For more details of Orkut users, you can have a look at their advertise page.

If you are presently seeing adsense ads, then remember, Orkut Promote is used by both advertisers and orkut users. You can advertise on Orkut using AdWord also(which costs money).

Do you already have a strategy to make your content(ad) go viral on Orkut?

Orkut Adsense Ad Placement

There was/is a lot of hype! and buzz in online community about monetizing strategies for FaceBook and Twitter. With all these, Orkut silently started showing adsense ads on Orkut, at some places. After some time it started showing ads on almost all the pages! But PPC ads doesn’t seem to be performing well on social networking sites, as people in such sites will be looking for friends and not for new products in the market, so they are less likely to click a ad. On the other hand, CPM ads may work better, as there will be a lot of impressions on each ad.

With latest improvements for advertisers, Orkut have moved the big 250 x 250 ad to the top right side and it has marked it clearly as “advertisement”. I am sure that it will improve the advertisers interest[Not sure about the users experience and satisfaction. Personally I don’t have any problem with ads, as long as we get value from the website].

Another significant, less observed and good ad placement is in the search result page of Orkut..Try to search for someone in Orkut, and on the top of the results you can see a 468 x 60[or slightly bigger] ad which is well blended with the theme(Orkut design).
And even smarter, Orkut shows “Recommendations by Google” and showcases and promotes some of its services.
Over all, critics are common when it comes to big players, but whats important is, we need to take the good aspects from them and need to learn from their mistakes. Everyone of us can’t make all the mistakes and then learn from it!

Over to readers. What do you feel about the ad placement and over all usability experience with Orkut.

Problem with Orkut Chat: its Solution

Can not chat with some friends in Orkut ?

Orkut Chat feature has been rolled-out to almost all the Orkut accounts. And many people are facing some annoying problem with it. i.e., they are able to chat with some friends and are not able to chat with some other friends, even though both of then have enabled and are available for chat!
This is due to the permission set in your Orkut account settings.

Goto “Settings ” and click on “Chat” tab. Now click on the group of friends that you want to chat with and block the friends with whom you don’t want to chat. You can individually select, with whom you want/don’t want to chat with, by clicking on the small arrow symbol(which is highlighted in the above image).
After selecting/deselecting the friends to chat/not to chat with, click on save button.

Make Money From Orkut

Yes you read it right.
Its possible to make money from Orkut, using OpenSocial.

What is OpenSocial?
OpenSocial is a set of common APIs for building social applications across many websites. OpenSocial consists of both JavaScript APIs and Google Data APIs.

How do I create social apps using OpenSocial?
Social apps are initially created in the same manner as gadgets: with your favorite text editor or within the Google Gadgets Editor. They then can be augmented with the OpenSocial JavaScript APIs, where they can fetch and post social data about friends and activities.

What resources do I need to create an OpenSocial gadget?
Other than a good idea and a few minutes to write JavaScript and HTML, you don’t need any. Google will do all the hosting for you if you want, but you are also free to use your own servers.

Now coming back to the topic, how do you earn the money?
Many of you might be thinking that, nobody can make good income by developing and monetizing the gadgets. But hey there are some gadgets which are so viral and many people use it, so I hope atleast those guys who developed such viral applications will surly earn a good income from it.
Just come up with an innovative idea, which can be converted into a gadget and which will be very much useful for Orkut users. Finally put it into action. There is a lot of difference in coming up with an idea and putting it into action. Learn some basics of programing and then refer to the huge documentation by Google and convert your idea into a gadget.

You can make money by developing gadgets even for FaceBook, Hi5 etc. But Orkut started using OpenSocial recently.

Watch the video for more clarification and proof.

Can I make money on Orkut?
Here is what in the video:-
The lawyers are working out the details, but here are our basic principles:

  • Canvas page belongs to the app – keep money you earn there.
  • Advertiser happiness – they want some control over where their message is displayed.
  • Profile page is user’s face to the world – we should only show content that user has authored or put there.

[We can already see ads in the gadget canvas page of Orkut.]
Now you can start from here to learn from the basic, how to develop a gadget. We hope it won’t take a lot of time to come up with a simple, sample gadget. But remember, all gadgets will go a strict review by Orkut team and they let only those gadgets that they think are valuable for Orkut members.
So invest some time in getting an innovative idea and then start executing it or just start learning about creating the gadget and in the process of learning you will get some good idea(that’s how it works with me).

What I feel is, to get an application viral effect, we need to solve a user problem or provide a very useful application(gadget). If we just come up with a very innovative gadget and if it does not solve any user problem or needs then it will just be in the list of innovative gadgets and not on the users profile.

Orkut turns 5 — “Happy Birthday Orkut”

Orkut was launched in January 2004 by Google Inc., Orkut named for the Google engineer who developed it, Orkut Buyukkokten. It was created as an independent project to help people around the world connect.

A Google representative said during its launch that “the site is the independent project of one of its engineers, Orkut Buyukkokten, who works on user interface design for Google. Buyukkokten, a computer science doctoral candidate at Stanford University before joining Google, created in the past several months by working on it about one day a week–an amount that Google asks all of its engineers to devote to personal projects. Buyukkokten, with the help of a few other engineers, developed Orkut out of his passion for social networking services.”

Its great to see Orkut come a long way, inspite of lot of controversies, criticize, bans etc. And its interesting to see people using proxies in office and schools to access Orkut!

With all these, Orkut is 5 now. Yes, its been 5 years after Orkut was officially launched by Google.
Orkut has come up with many new and useful features all these years, and some of them have been covered on our blog frequently.

To have a flashback and to celebrate Orkuts birthday, we present their previous birthday logos. Sorry we missed 1st and 2nd birthday logos.




We really like the concept of Google doodles and all the logos developed on different occasions. Its simple, effective, lovely, conveying some message, greeting etc.
Anyway, we would never want to see Orkut in the list of “Stopped Services by Google”!
We wish Orkut a great success in the coming years, and Hugh market share even outside Brazil, India, Africa. “Happy Birthday Orkut”.