back to article Google kills its successful social network. Yes, we mean Orkut

Google is killing off Orkut, the web giant's original and arguably most successful social network, which remains popular in Brazil and India but never really gained traction in the West. Worse still, the Mountain View company announced the move during the World Cup football tournament – taking place in Brazil. In a carefully …

  1. busycoder99

    Just went to check on mine

    Just went to check on mine and I get this message:

    "Your profile has been deleted.

    Your profile violated our Terms of Use. We have deleted your profile and we encourage you to read our policies and usage guidelines before you create a new profile."

    Not logging in for about 10 years must violate their TOS. Who knew?

    The best things about Orkut were the "who's viewed your profile" feature, which helps spot stalkers, and the fact that it kept formatting of ascii art in profile, which let me do things like this:

    /T /I

    / |/ | .-~/

    T\ Y I |/ / _

    /T | \I | I Y.-~/

    I l /I T\ | | l | T /

    T\ | \ Y l /T | \I l \ ` l Y

    __ | \l \l \I l __l l \ ` _. |

    \ ~-l `\ `\ \ \\ ~\ \ `. .-~ |

    \ ~-. "-. ` \ ^._ ^. "-. / \ |

    .--~-._ ~- ` _ ~-_.-"-." ._ /._ ." ./

    >--. ~-. ._ ~>-" "\\ 7 7 ]

    ^.___~"--._ ~-{ .-~ . `\ Y . / |

    <__ ~"-. ~ /_/ \ \I Y : |

    ^-.__ ~(_/ \ >._: | l______

    ^--.,___.-~" /_/ ! `-.~"--l_ / ~"-.

    (_/ . ~( /' "~"--,Y -=b-. _)

    (_/ . \ : / l c"~o \

    \ / `. . .^ \_.-~"~--. )

    (_/ . ` / / ! )/

    / / _. '. .': / '

    ~(_/ . / _ ` .-<_

    /_/ . ' .-~" `. / \ \ ,z=.

    ~( / ' : | K "-.~-.______//

    "-,. l I/ \_ __{--->._(==.

    //( \ < ~"~" //

    /' /\ \ \ ,v=. ((

    .^. / /\ " }__ //===- `

    / / ' ' "-.,__ {---(==-

    .^ ' : T ~" ll -Row

    / . . . : | :! \\

    (_/ / | | j-" ~^



    Which would end up looking like the 7th pic here (, instead of the abomination above. Beat that, Reg!

    1. Tommy Pock

      Re: Just went to check on mine

      For heaven's sake man, at least post a clickable link

      1. David Pollard

        Re: Just went to check on mine

        I thought that on El Reg it was usual to post links in clear text as a courtesy to those of us who like to look before we leap.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "It's been a great 10 years, and we apologise 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."

    One of the problems with all these free-to-use services is that the users have no say at all on the services' availability. Some companies are worse than others and Google does seem particularly annoying.

    I've never even seen Orkut (pronounced Haircut?) but I know it has happened a few times where I hear news of Google doing something wonderful and then some time later that Google is killing it. It makes me wonder how wonderful was it then? Is what Google releases today any good? Sure, the hipsters tell me Google is awesome, but can they guarantee that I'll be able to use it in the future?

    Nothing lasts for ever (including a Microsoft music service -- Plays For Sure?), but quotes like this make me want to stick fire-ants up the noses of the smug little mealy-mouthed bastards who cover their actions with sugar in an effort to persuade their users that their lives are now going to be somehow better and that they really do care for their users.

  3. herman Silver badge

    Well, what is Google+? All it seems good for is the occasional spam message in my inbox.

    I don't know anyone that uses it, which could actually be a good thing, maybe I should sign up...

  4. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Behold, the cloud!

    Oh, it's blown away.

    There's another one on the horizon, it's a different shape...

    Oh, it's blown away...

  5. Steve Knox

    C'mon, it's not that bad...

    But nothing else will be transferred, which will undoubtedly frustrate the hell out of folk who have painstakingly built up a social following on Orkut only to discover they have to start again. From scratch. On Google+.

    They could always start again from scratch on Facebook instead...

    1. asdf

      Re: C'mon, it's not that bad...

      >They could always start again from scratch on Facebook instead...

      And be screwed either way just like before. Many people over 40 realize being the product and not the customer is not worth the supreme joy of being able to post pictures of last night's dinner for your "friends" to like.

    2. Mage Silver badge

      Re: C'mon, it's not that bad...

      Or just not bother at all.

  6. Steven Roper

    Now maybe all those Brazilians will learn the lesson I learned

    This is exactly why I no longer use any service Google provides, with the exception of the occasional search if I can't find what I'm looking for on DuckDuckGo (which is not often.) I learned that lesson with the demise of the iGoogle homepage.

    My iGoogle homepage became for me a portal to the web. I had a news gadget, weather report, world clocks, currency converter, world sunlight map, dictionary/thesaurus, whois/IP lookup, and Wikpedia search all laid out conveniently in little boxes on my single home page. Then Google took it away, and I never found an adequate replacement; I feel to this day that the internet has taken a small step backwards for its loss. These days I just use the 9 preset 'quicklinks' Firefox displays when you open a new tab, to visit the sites that perform the equivalent functions, but it's not an adequate replacement for iGoogle.

    But from this I learned the dangers of coming to rely on a service you do not control. It can be taken away, at any time, for any reason. This is exactly why I refuse to embrace cloud and SaaS - because it could be taken away at any time, and there's nothing you can do about it. Do all your graphics work in Adobe's Creative Cloud? Too bloody bad if Adobe shuts down or has problems. You lose all your work, everything. Keeping all your documents and reports on Office 365? Too bloody bad if Microsoft suddenly decides it doesn't want to provide the service any more. You lose everything.

    And that is why I will now only work with software that is installed directly on my machine, that does not require any connection to the internet to keep working, has no expiry date or subscription-based bullshit, and saves its data only on my local drive.

    So thank you Google, for teaching me this important lesson. I won't fall for that shit again.

    1. Roger Greenwood

      Re: Now maybe all those Brazilians will learn the lesson I learned

      Sounds like you should have been listening to RMS -:)

    2. CaptainBlue

      Re: Now maybe all those Brazilians will learn the lesson I learned

      "My iGoogle homepage became for me a portal to the web."

      As it did for me. I never found a suitable replacement either.

  7. bazza Silver badge

    This doesn't instil a reputation for permanence for anything Google-ish. Why would anyone choose to use their services and apps for business use when there's no guarantee that it will be available in six months time?

    At least with software running on your own hardware you're more in control of its demise...

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Why would closing this service be any different to the other services that Google has closed over the last few years? But equally, why should closing yet another marginal service have any affect on the professional, paid-for services such as docs and mail? Users of such services are protected by contracts unlike the users of free services, though I suspect the free versions will stick around in one form or another to entice people to use them. Personally, I don't use many of Google's services apart from the search.

  8. AJames

    Well, that's annoying

    I have many friends in Brazil who I have stayed in touch with over the years using Orkut. Now I'll have to track them all down individually and get linked up to them on another service before September. I can see why Google can't simply transfer these links automatically - few people are going to have a Google+ account, and Google wouldn't have permission to set up Facebook links. But if they were smarter they could have provided some sort of automatic global notification, e.g., send out a message to all contacts saying "Your friend X is now on Google+, click here if you want to link up on Google+ [Create account]".

    1. AJames

      Re: Well, that's annoying

      I turned one of my Gmail accounts into a Google+ account, and I see that Google actually is smart enough to tell you which of your Orkut friends already have Google+ accounts, and it lets you link up automatically.

      I had a moment's pause though when the Google+ setup asked me to agree that "I understand the changes that this will make to my Picasa Web Albums". Those changes turn out to be that your web photo albums that you shared with specific friends will now be shared with everyone on Google+ unless you restrict them.

  9. geeboh

    Google+ MASTER RACE

  10. Inachu


    Naming your social network site by a name that sounds like some stale food item.

  11. Marshalltown

    Google - useless "improvements"

    What is it with Google and the killing off of perfectly useable elements? Does anyone think that Google+ is really an improvement? All of a sudden everything has to be "social". Well some of us are still really, really antisocial.

  12. T J


    What's this "Googleplus" thing? Is it like the Red Cross?

  13. Sir_Hops_A_Lot

    Google lifts "Shameless" to the status of a Fine Art

    "Google explained on its support page that there was no way of migrating the data over to Google+ from Orkut."

    This is the same lie they told about the "sand-bag our g+ numbers" changes at YouTube, last year. It's like they think the only people on the planet who understand how this stuff works are loyal, tight-lipped employees.

    Then again, no one consequential is calling them on it....

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