Google Is Shutting Down Orkut And What It Means To You

Kumar Gauraw

Launched in January 2004, Google’s first social media venture, Orkut is shutting down on September 30, 2014. I received an email from the Orkut team notifying me of this development a couple of days ago.
RIP Orkut-Google Announces Shutdown On September-30-2014
If you know anything about Orkut, you may remember that it was launched even before Facebook. It was very popular in India and Brazil, although it never took off in the US.

In fact, Orkut was my first introduction to social networking, although I found Facebook much better and I gradually moved away from Orkut. Later on, as Google launched its new social networking website Google+, I moved all my stuff from Orkut to Google+.

Well, we knew that the end for Orkut was near as soon as Google plus was launched. In fact, most people I know shifted from Orkut to Facebook as soon as Facebook started to gain popularity right around 2008.

The Time Has Come To Say Goodbye

Orkut, that gave us our first “social networking” experience (at least it is true in my case for sure,) is now about to say goodbye on September 30th of this year.

It’s not that I have been a regular user of Orkut. In fact, I had not logged into Orkut for the last three years probably. However, as is human nature, when something is taken away from you, you want more πŸ™‚

Just to share a few things about Orkut I would like to reference an article on Business Standard by Nitin Sreedhar who has done a good wrap up of the Orkut experience which I could relate to. Please take time and pay this article a visit.

Anyways, if you have been an Orkut user, you might want to visit the site, take a look at your pictures, your friend list, and your scraps. You might want to take a backup of the things you want to retain before the website is taken offline.

How To Download Your Orkut Photos, Scraps And Testimonials

Fortunately, Google has provided you an option to download data from your Orkut account while there still is time.

You can download the scraps and testimonials that are there within your account. You can download your scrapbook content, your pictures and testimonials you have received.

You Can Import Orkut Pictures Into Google+

This is the option I used because I was only interested in getting my pictures from Orkut before it goes down. I did not bother about scraps, testimonials and things like that.

So, if you are like me and you want to import your Orkut pictures into Google plus, you can do that by following the simple steps I am going to explain now. By the way, this method will stop working after September 30th.

  1. Go to Google+ and log in to your account.
  2. Now go to Orkut’s album export page (in a new window).
  3. The page will show you your Orkut albums which you can select to export to Google+.
  4. Choose “Select All”
  5. Now, click on “Import selected”.

That’s all. It will transfer your photos to Google+.Β  The important thing to note is, all imported photos will only be visible to you unless you want to change their privacy settings to make them visible to others. A good feature, indeed!

You Can Download Everything To Your PC

If, instead,Β  you prefer to transfer to your computer everything Google allows you to take from Orkut, you can use Google Takeout service.

Google Takeout lets you download all your Orkut account data in a zip file in easy steps. You can download your profile data, scraps received in your scrapbook, all testimonials you have received, all your activities and all your photos from Orkut.

This feature is also available for you for use before September 30th.

Follow the outline below to download a copy of your Orkut data to your local machine in minutes:

  1. Sign into your Google account first.
  2. Then, go to Google Takeout.
  3. Under “Create Archive” button (as shown in the image below), chooseΒ  Orkut.
  4. Now, click “Create Archive” button and wait until the archive is ready.
  5. If you don’t want to wait, you can leave the page, and you will receive an email when the archive is ready.
  6. Once the archive is ready, go to the Download option and get it.
  7. There is no limitation on how many times you can download your Orkut data. Download on as many machines you want.

I hope these steps will help you get your Orkut data in your hands if you have had an account.

If You Don’t Have An Orkut Account

If you do not have an Orkut account, I have already wasted your time in going through this article and learning about a social networking site which is ready to die in a couple of months.

Sorry about that.

I needed to do this to give my tribute to Orkut and to warn my fellow Orkut users so they have a chance to get whatever they want from Orkut before it’s too late.

Have Your Say Now. Share Your Thoughts

Have you had an Orkut account? If you did, how frequently have you visited the site in last couple of years?

If you do not have an Orkut account, you really have nothing to lose or gain by this upcoming change from Google. However, I invite you to share your thoughts about the future of Google+ now that Orkut is out of the way.

Thank you kindly!

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Kumar Gauraw

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Kumar Gauraw is a Personal Branding & Social Media strategist helping entrepreneurs and skilled professionals achieve personal and professional success by developing leadership and leveraging the power of the Internet, Blogging and Social Media.

21 Awesome Thoughts So Far, Add Yours Now...

  1. Twitter:
    Hi Kumar,

    Had heard of this before, and never actually used Orkut, but you piqued my curiosity so stopped by to have a look… πŸ™‚

    Ah, so it was the first social networking site, wow – didn’t know that.

    I don’t have an account but found it interesting anyway, so no waste of time here.

    Thanks for covering a wide range of topics on your blog, keeps things interesting! πŸ™‚

    – Carol Amato
    Carol Amato Recently Posted: 7 Simple Tips To Help Your Blog Posts Get DiscoveredMy Profile

    • Twitter:
      Hi Carol,

      I am glad that at least you heard of this. Not many people in the US, especially today, even remember that Orkut existed.

      It was a social networking website that launched just a few months before Facebook did and probably it was at timing off Facebook launch that did not let Orkut flourish in the US. Part of the reason was also because Google never thought that Facebook will go so basic and they did not put any energy and it.

      Well the story now answer for our quote and Google plus has taken its place.

      Thank you for the appreciation and I appreciate you for coming by and sharing your thoughts!

      Kumar Gauraw Recently Posted: How Do You Work With An Unaccountable Leader?My Profile

    • Twitter:
      Hi Gauraw this is my 1st time here your blog design is quite attractive and fast loading.

      Recently Orkut has shut down. I have some amazing experience with it as only orkut was there before with me than Facebook. And you mentioned about taking backup or albums before only but i was not able to comment because i was using mobile that time.

      Suprabhat Mondal Recently Posted: How to Start WordPress Blog with Free HostingMy Profile

  2. Twitter:
    Hi Kumar,

    I didn’t know that Orkut was the first social media site and was so popular. Actually never heard of it until now.
    As with any social site, it is important to keep any testimonials and/or contacts on a separate list of our own.

    This has given me so much food for thought because I’m a huge Facebook user. This topic enlightened me to keep some information I would need just in case…

    For all the users of Orkut it is so great that you have given them the resources to keep their information. I’m sure they will get right on it.

    I’ll pass the word out!

    donna merrill Recently Posted: Sidebar BlindnessMy Profile

    • Twitter:
      Hi Donna,

      Orkut was never popular in the USA and although it was the first social networking site, Facebook came just a few months later and being a website with better presentation, Facebook became popular in the USA and eventually took over the world.

      Orkut was, however, popular in India and Brazil for a long time. But then, Facebook caught up even their and that is why Orkut is being extinct in a couple of months.

      I did download my data from orkut and I thought that it would be nice if I let my circle of influence know about orkut’s extinction.

      Thank you for dropping by and you have a wonderful weekend ahead.
      Kumar Gauraw Recently Posted: How Do You Work With An Unaccountable Leader?My Profile

  3. Twitter:
    Hi Kumar,

    I must have been under a rock, but I’ve never, ever heard of Orkut before, or that it was the first social media platform.

    I guess it was really not popular in the US because never heard it mention on any blog either, and I’ve been online for a while. I guess that the popularity of Facebook killed it a long time ago.
    Sylviane Nuccio Recently Posted: If Content Is King Do You Need To Worry About Anything Else?My Profile

    • Twitter:
      Hi Sylviane,

      No, you have not under rock, it’s just that Orkut was never popular in the USA. You are absolutely right about Facebook’s popularity killing Orkut. Well, Facebook’s popularity killed many social networking websites and Google plus is also struggling even though Google learned a lot of lessons and tried to emulate Facebook with full force.

      Anyways, or could was my first social media website. It was the place where I learned connecting with people, sharing status messages, uploading pictures and just to have fun online.

      So, when I heard that orkut was going down I decided to dedicate this post to Orkut and probably, help some people save their data, their pictures from being lost.

      Kumar Gauraw Recently Posted: How Do You Work With An Unaccountable Leader?My Profile

  4. Twitter:
    Hi Kumar,

    Never heard of it. Isn’t that weird and I’ve been online for years as I work in IT. It’s good to let people know. Now that they have a head’s up, they can save items that they may have wanted. I’m curious about it now because literally I had no clue such a social media site existed.

    I’m sure many people who were there appreciate the instructions on how to save and store their information. That’s a great thing and something some may not have thought of.

    Thanks for watching out for those people.

    Barbara Charles Recently Posted: Three Reasons Your Internet Marketing Business Can FailMy Profile

    • Twitter:
      Hi Barbara,

      Yes, you are not alone. A lot of people living in the US have no idea about Orkut.
      Probably, I know because I was in India back then and since Orkut became popular in India, I caught up with it.

      Later on, as Facebook was popular in the US, I slowly transitioned to Facebook. But, I did have a lot of pictures, scraps etc. an Orkut and therefore Google did notify me when they decided to bring the website down.

      Well, I haven’t logged into Orkut for a couple of years and it really doesn’t matter at this time but, I did want to save my stuff and so I decided to let others who might be just like me would know how to do it for their accounts.

      Hopefully it helps some people.

      Thank you for dropping by and I am not at all surprised if you did not know about Orkut because I do not expect people living in the US even remembering Orkut or knowing it.

      Kumar Gauraw Recently Posted: How Do You Work With An Unaccountable Leader?My Profile

  5. Twitter:
    Hey Kumar,

    Orkut was the first social media network from which I was connecting with my friends.
    But after the evolution of Facebook I have left Orkut. I have enjoyed a lot with this amazing service provided by Google.
    Now it’s going to shutdown. For people who are using it should import their photos from it.

    In these past years Orkut has played a good role in people’s life to connect with each other. I hope Google is planning to launch something which can replace Orkut.

    Thanks for giving this information.
    Have a good day.:)

    Ravi Chahar Recently Posted: Beginners Guide To Tell How To Install A WordPress Theme?My Profile

    • Twitter:
      Hi Ravi,

      Glad to know at least you were using Orkut just like I did πŸ™‚

      Well, Google has already launched Google+ and that is the reason why they are shutting down Orkut I believe.

      So, let’s look forward to the future, hopefully πŸ™‚


  6. Twitter:
    Hi Kumar,

    Good to be back in gear once again πŸ™‚

    Yes, Orkut’s been there since ages, which makes me wonder why they are closing it up. In-fact, I always used to share my posts on Orkut, but that was about all – never knew how to make friends because Facebook was a better choice there.

    I didn’t know that it wasn’t all that popular in the US – surprisingly people don’t even know of it! Those are helpful tips to save all that you want to before they close your accounts, especially for those who have been active there.

    Thanks for sharing it with us. Have a nice weekend πŸ™‚
    Harleena Singh Recently Posted: Back to Blogging After a Break – Check Out What’s NewMy Profile

    • Twitter:
      Hi Harleena,

      Your break wasn’t just your break πŸ™‚ more or less I was also only posting once a week due to some pressing personal situations that demanded more of my time. Blogging had to take a back seat and I let it πŸ™‚

      Even for me it’s good to be back and I look forward to see some excitement from you going forward as I can imaging that you would have some cool things planned πŸ™‚

      Well, speaking of Orkut, it was a dead horse for most people except some of us in India and most in Brazil. It’s sad but good that Google is consolidating it’s social networking footprint.

      See you soon at your blog πŸ™‚


  7. Twitter:
    Hey Kumar,

    The first time I read about Orkut was when someone else posted an article about it shutting down too. I seriously had no idea what it even was. Since it was owned by Google I’m finding that really odd that I never knew it even existed. I wonder why it never took off here in the US!

    I didn’t learn about Facebook until about 2007 because before that all I ever did on the computer was search the internet related to the company I worked for and email. That was my knowledge of anything online. I had no clue about anything else until I started researching things I could do online business wise. Even when I signed up with Facebook I found it so confusing that I wasn’t active probably for almost another year.

    If there are a lot of people still using that network my heart goes out to them. I’m sure though Google saw that with all the other ones online and them starting Google+ that perhaps they would prefer for everyone to come over to this one instead.

    Either way I’m sure anyone wanting to know how to transfer things over appreciates you sharing that with them. I know I sure would and would probably be panicking about now.

    Always on the ball letting us know what’s up, thanks Kumar and have a good weekend.

    Adrienne Recently Posted: How To Learn From A SuperheroMy Profile

    • Twitter:
      You are very welcome Adrienne!
      I am not surprised that many people here haven’t known anything about Orkut and actually, that is the reason Google had to invent Google+ to get some attention from people in the United States πŸ™‚

      Anyways, Orkut will be in history in a couple of months and so, you didn’t miss anything πŸ™‚

      Have a great weekend! Looking forward to your next week’s posts now.


  8. Twitter:
    I had never heard of Orkut. My question is what is Google offering in its place? Google has a reason for everything.
    Arleen Recently Posted: Connecting with a Global Audience: Best FIFA World Cup CommercialsMy Profile

    • Twitter:
      Hi Arleen,

      Google is just getting rid of Orkut to strengthen Google+ as far as we understand the intent behind the move.

      Orkut had become obsolete since the launch of Google+ and we know the end was near for Orkut right then.

      Also, more or less everybody who was on Orkut is already on Google+. It’s just a matter of settling down knowing that there is no more any Orkut πŸ™‚

      Have a great weekend.


  9. Twitter:
    I am with Carol in the first post. I’ve heard of it so many times, but I never took the time to check it out or used. Guess it’s good I didn’t. Honestly I don’t think I even realized it was a social platform.

    Always thought it was an odd name. While it sounds like a little thing, but maybe part of the reason it never took off?

    Google+ just sounds so much better, and it actually makes sense.
    Ron Killian Recently Posted: Getting REAL Comments to Your BlogMy Profile

  10. Amit

    hi Gaurawi
    Reading ur article gave me a nostalgic feeling, yes for me it was the 1st social networking site, infact i was use to scrap and orkut privacy feature, i shun facebook when i 1st seen it, posting on wall on FB page was terrifying since scrap was better option in orkut. Internet was slow in those days and broadband was making inroad, orkut had a option for low bandwidth against which FB takes forever to load. Orkut was mix of Reddit and FB it was community and individual oriented. I still find difficulty in using FB specially i am till not able to get how to use community or group on FB and m not much happy with FB privacy features

  11. thank you for the information you have provided to us, I saw this includes a great article, may still exist in providing a good article for us all, greetings from me
    cincin palladium Recently Posted: Cincin EMAS DC 027My Profile

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