Google’s Orkut: 5th Anniversary.

It’s something curious to follow news and stats about social networking websites, and Orkut owned by Google (since around 2006)  don’t appear as much under the radar. This social networking website commemorated its 5th anniversary, last monday (Jan 26th, 2009).

Personally I suck at these networking websites, where I never really fully use its features or even as a full networking tool. I’ve created accounts in several of them, some of them that I don’t even remember anymore. Orkut was definitely the 1st of them, some time before it was bought by Google. Facebook may be the one a little bit more prolific these days, but even so, not by much. My preference over the simplicity of microblogging over at Twitter, beat any curious feature that appear in these sites.

The contrasting aspect is how much Orkut is not in the radar around most of the world, but it’s the ultimate success in Brazil. The following story from Info Exame, about it’s 5th anniversary does bring us several interesting data. Very early its introduction, it speedily gathered Brazilian users, despite it’s sort of limiting registering by invitation feature. In little time the Brazilian user were majority in that site, and now it the most visited website in the country, in which users spend most time.

The data about Orkut in Brazil  I’m listing below is from the linked article:

  • 37 Million of Brazilian Registered Users (non-confirmed), from which an average of 17 million are home users.
  • Visitors spend an average of  4 hours and 40 minutes per month in it, and this average peaked around 5 hours in a few months.
  • Major social networking websites like Facebook and MySpace barely appears in the Brazilian radar, as it registers less than 1% of user participation.
  • The mojority of the users are still from young people, but in recent years the number of older users did increase. In 2008, the 25 to35 demographic increased by 31% in the website, while the young users only increased by 15%.

It’s an interesting take on it, so much that Orkut as an word and concept might be able to summarize the social networking phenomenon in Brazil by itself. As positioning for companies looking for potential costumers, if you’re looking for them in Brazil, by targeting Facebook or Myspace might not be the best choice, as Orkut by the numbers might generate more ROI of the all.

If you’re like me have more an academic interest over the phenomenon, things might just be a little bit more complicated, especially if you’re attempting to set a more global view of the statistics, but the additional complexity in the scenario might just be the fun part in all of this.


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