You may not remember it, but Google actually helped spark the social media phenomenon ten years ago with Orkut. Today the company announced that the service will shut down completely on September 30. It’s not a huge surprise, especially since the site hasn’t received much attention from Google in the past few years while other services like Google+ and YouTube continue to improve and grow.
After launching back in 2004, Orkut never really caught on here in the U.S., but it managed to find a following in other parts of the world. The service was particularly popular in Brazil and India, where it held on as the most popular social network until Facebook came along. Google stopped updating Orkut around 2012, and the site’s official blog hadn’t been updated for almost two years until today’s announcement.
Google is using the opportunity to boost usage for its more recent social network. Orkut users can transfer their profiles, photos and community posts to Google+ anytime between now and September 2016 using Google Takeout, but the service shuts its doors this September. The company is also preserving an Orkut archive, which should launch as soon as the service goes down.
It is always sad to see a Google service bite the dust, and the Orkut closure is no different. If you want to get nostalgic you can still use Orkut for a few more months, though unfortunately Google has already shut down its sign-up page for new accounts.