Main Reasons For The Failure Of Orkut

Sandhya Raju Sandhya Raju
Nov 12, 2020 6 min read
Main Reasons For The Failure Of Orkut

Social media has become crucial for everyone. People of different age groups, teenagers and adults have social media accounts and they use it for various purposes. Social media is basically technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, photos, ideas, videos and so on. These days, there are a lot of different social media platforms and the emergence of advanced platforms led to the failure of Orkut. Social media can help share details with the public and also meet other people who are available on the platform. It doesnโ€™t stop there. Social media is now used for marketing and it has proved to be one of the best sources of marketing.

The use of social media has been increasing since it came into existence. Orkut was one of the very earliest social media platform. Orkut was Googleโ€™s first step towards social media and it was extremely successful. Orkut was launched in the year 2004 and had a lot of competitors like Yahoo messenger, skype, etc. Orkut could very easily get ahead of all the competitors. It could make it through with 3 times more users than Facebook. All these were in the Orkut's initial stages. Even India and Brazil had a lot of users for Orkut.

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How Did Orkut Work?

Orkut was just like other social media platforms but with some differences. These differences might have been the reason for their success initially. It had features wherein one can create an account, manage a profile and so on. Orkut had one good feature that other platforms did not have. There was an option for โ€˜crush listโ€™ and we can customize themes on this platform. This was not available in any other platform. Other than this, working of Orkut was similar to the working of other platforms.

What Happened To Orkut Later?

In the year 2014, Orkut was shut down. This was because it did not have a very good user base and most users started shifting to other social media platforms from Orkut. There were a lot of reasons for this. with this, Google was closed to shut down Orkut. The main reason for this was the emergence of other social media platforms that were in most ways better than Orkut. Here, let us analyze the reasons for Orkutโ€™s failure.

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Reasons Behind Orkut's Failure

One main reason for the failure of Orkut was the competitors growing much faster.
One main reason for the failure of Orkut was the competitors growing much faster.


People love posting on social media and maintaining a profile but at the same time, they expect some privacy. Through Orkut, everyone can see anyoneโ€™s profile and also personal information and contact details. You could stop someone from seeing your profile only if you put them on your block list. Facebook had a few privacy settings and option to show the profile and other details only to people who are added to your friends' list. This made a few users switch to Facebook, one of Orkutโ€™s leading competitors as it looked much safer than Orkut.


The website was initially fast and worked perfectly well but later, after a few redesigns, it became very slow and the loading took a lot of time. Also, with the number of users increasing, it became a bigger issue. The existing server was not enough to handle so many users and hence the uses had to wait for a long time to reach the landing page. Also, when Orkut was in the initial stage, the average internet speed was quite low.

Not Very User-friendly

Initially, Orkut was very easy to use and this attracted a lot of users. The redesigns were very complicated and most of the additions were even irrelevant to the concept of Orkut. Facebook and other social media using were found to be easier than this one. Users see social media as a source for entertainment, fun and relaxation and hence they expect it to be very simple. Orkut failed to make it possible for them. Hence, people started deleting their account on Orkut.

Not Mobile-friendly

As Orkut started becoming famous, mobiles and other smaller devices started becoming popular and most users preferred using the same. With this, Orkut could not cope with the changes. Orkut found it very difficult while Facebook catered to customer needs. Also, since it was slow, it was not very comfortable for the users to use it on mobile devices.

Google Diverted It's Attention Towards Google+

Google being very successful and developing, they started focusing on other projects that were unique like YouTube. With the introduction of Google+, which is also a social media platform that had more features, Google wasnโ€™t giving enough importance to Orkut.

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Users Preferred Facebook

Customers and users found that Facebook was better for them than Orkut. Facebook had the ability to update quickly to usersโ€™ needs. They were able to find out exactly what the user needs and update the website accordingly. Adding the privacy feature was one of the best decisions that Facebook had taken. If only Orkut had tried this first, they would have been in the market for a little while.


With this growing trend, it is very important for companies to work on capturing customers and work more towards retaining customers. Orkut failed in all of this. Market trends and the customer psychologies keep changing and Facebook and other social media sites were changing according to it but Orkut failed to do the same and instead they made it more complicated.

Also, Google, on knowing all this, could have worked more on Orkut and made it better. Google also proved to be successful in other ways.

From Orkut, there is one lesson that startups and other companies can learn. Coping with competitors is extremely important. Orkut, being launched by Google, could do it but still failed to do so. Also, all customers expect a lot of things from companies and it is the companyโ€™s duty to fulfil all of it or at least some of it. Orkut failed in that too.

Very small mistakes have led to the shutting down of a company that was started by Google. After all, little drops of water make a mighty ocean and hence little mistakes that companies do can put them in a very bad place.

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