By Soumya Gupta, Batch of 2017
Launched by Google, Orkut was one of the first social networking websites which started making the world a much smaller space. Many of our age would even consider Orkut as an initiation into the world of wall posts, likes, photos; all in all, it defined the creation of an online dimension to our lives.
There was a time, when Facebook and Orkut were head to head in the race for popularity. But that was before a time when Facebook upped its ante so high, that it became THE verb to define online social networking while Orkut remained a nostalgic teenage memory.
But in retrospect, Orkut never seemed too ambitious to survive in this online-interaction-starved world anyway. The main reason why Facebook won over Orkut was the constant updating of interactive and security features and its ever-changing (sometimes, annoyingly) interface. Facebook also became more than just an online forum to reunite with friends, it expanded into being a job portal, an advertising forum, and a platform for sharing all kinds of talent and to even inspire revolutions around the world (read as: the Arab Spring Revolution). Google, meanwhile, let the dominoes fall, when it came to the downfall of Orkut, to a point where Orkut seemed extraordinarily juvenile next to Facebook.
Keeping this in mind, and the fact that Google came up with other features like Google plus in Orkut’s stead, Google wisely decided to shut down Orkut on the 30th of September, this year. While we bid Orkut goodbye, some memories of that more innocent time resurface in our minds like when a friend request would make our day, or when the word ‘stalk’ was used in an eerily trivial manner, or when photo albums moved from print to digital screens, or when reporting abuse became a teenage right, or when a testimonial from a long lost friend would give one the much needed ego boost. Orkut defined the early 2000s and a major part of our early teens.