The growing popularity of Orkut in India

I started noticing this a few months back when I started receiving notifications from friends / cousins about Orkut scrapbook messages. At first I ignored them (I joined all these sites when they first came out, but don’t visit except to accept invitations sometimes). When I was finally enticed to check, I was amazed to find a buzzing Indian community. I recognized people I had not talked to for years from visits to my profile, I saw that my old school has more than 2000 members (I think I had checked this a few years back and there were 4-5 members). Now that trickle of Orkut mailings has become a deluge, and I find myself visiting the site at least once a day (those who know me are aware of my skpeticism regarding earlier social networking sites such as Orkut and LinkedIn, so this is my surprise to day the least).

Fascinated, I started exploring to find if anyone else had noticed this. The “Inside Orkut” blog had noticed that Indians are the third largest group on Orkut as of Aug 06: Brazil – 67%; US: 13.2%; INdians: 7.7%.

Some Indian bloggers had commented as well.

Ashish writes on “Latest in India” that Orkut is the most popular networking site in India beating others like Jhoom.

I laughed out loud about Aji’s observation about Orkut rhyming with Chirkut (sorry, it would be impossible to explain why this is so funny to non Indians).

Hisham observes that this period of growth could be observed starting this year (so its at least 6 months old).

Rajiv on Watblog notes that Orkut is the third most popular site in India based on Alexa ratings (ahead of Rediff.com! -I am amazed by that).

7 thoughts on “The growing popularity of Orkut in India

  1. Umm, if popularity equates to just the number of people signing up, you are right. Having been closely watching the amount of useful interactions happening on Orkut, am afraid it is not so great. Just check out the postings on most interest groups – 95% or more appear to be dead. I dont think Orkut has figured out how to create useful interactions. By contrast, google groups or what used to be deja news, has quietly survived and even flourished over the last 15 or so years. My take – places like Orkut (i am still reserving judgement on LinkedIn) look to be headed for a dead end unless a serious overhaul of the mechanisms of interaction are improved (RSS feeds, integration of scrapbook entries with email or SMS, integration with blogs ..)

  2. Most of the social networks, including the beast mysapce are only generating crap. The social networks who are succeeding knows how to turn this crap into $$$.

    I am still looking for social networks which can actually generate real useful content. Digg, Delicious, Newsvine are few, but still the space is quiet empty. A network like Newsvine can be a major force in India, since I personally believe India has vast pool of intellectuals who can give opinionated thougts on n number of topics. Either its beacuse of our education system or competition we face everyday.

    The only problem is the lack of technology in small towns. Indian newspapers like Indian Express, Statesman could do a lot on this field, but they are happy counting advertising revenues from their print media. Anyways, with falling prices of computers, and increasing bandwidth in India, future surely looks promising.

  3. It is strange that social networking sites have suddenly gained popularity after blogs. Social networking came years ago and just…disappeared. Now, Indians are rediscovering it. Strange.
    I remeber getting invites for hi5 all the time. Recently i got one saying “you have been tagged” …Annoying.

    I guess Indians have grown accustomed to forums/blogs now and since they love to “want to be friends” orkut has become popular.
    Could also be because of the Google-Orkut link up. Many of us have a gmail account. Makes it easier to use the same id to log into Orkut.

    The usefullness of the website – zero.
    Many communities on Orkut are filled with bot messages and have little or no activity.

  4. A similar skeptic, I logged back again last week when a client messaged me, saying there was a thriving community on orkut talking about their company.

    BTW – Slideshare is great. Thanks.

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