Google has announced it is closing its Orkut social network, citing the company’s other social media services, with the service set to shut down on September 30, 2014.
Orkut was originally launched in January 2004, ahead of dominant player Facebook (February 2004) and just a few months after MySpace (August 2003). It was launched well ahead of later Google social networks such as YouTube (launched in February 2005, purchased by Google in 2006) and Google+ (June 2011).
In a statement on the official Orkut blog, Orkut engineering director Paulo Golgher says users wanting to save content they’ve uploaded to the site will need to use Google’s Takeover service to preserve them.
“Built as a ‘20 percent [time]’ project, Orkut communities started conversations, and forged connections, that had never existed before. Orkut helped shape life online before people really knew what ‘social networking’ was,” Golgher says.
“Over the past decade, YouTube, Blogger and Google+ have taken off, with communities springing up in every corner of the world… We’ll be focusing our energy and resources on making these other social platforms as amazing as possible for everyone who uses them.”
Golgher also says that all public communities on the website will be archived, and users not wanting their content to be archived will need to permanently remove Orkut from their Google accounts.