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Orkut Launches for iPhone — Will It Encourage Growth?

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Orkut has been sitting on the sidelines ever since Google Plus showed up on the product roadmap at Google, and it looks like it’s going to stay that way.  With Google+ up to a reported 40 million monthly active users, it’s only the start for the emerging social network.  That said, Orkut is still pushing forward, with strength in India and Brazil and 66 million active users as of October 2011.  The question is whether Google is doing anything to help these two products get along or not — and whether they’re taking opportunities to synergize (yes, I used that word).

Judging by the looks of the recent release of the Orkut app for iPhone, it looks like these two products are going to stay on their own tracks, at least for now.

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Orkut Updates their Communities Service

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Orkut, that oft-forgotten social network owned and operated by Google, is still a huge deal in India and Brazil.  The network never caught on here, but the website has 66 million active users around the world, with 59% of its users in Brazil and 27% in India.  That’s a lot of social networking.  The social network recently revamped their communities features, and have added a few new features.

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Google Toolbar for IE Gets the Orkut Icon

I find it really amazing that despite the popularity of both MySpace and Facebook and Twitter and Friendfeed as a web application for connecting to people online, there are still some other social networking sites which managed to stay on, do their thing and gets ample membership base. One of this sites is the Google-owned Orkut. And the site just got a little boost thanks to the Google Toolbar for IE Browser which got the Orkut tab right smack on the toolbar.

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Orkut Platform Goes Live in India

Last night OpenSocial applications went live on Orkut starting in India. Given that India is one of the most popular networks on Orkut, this is pretty big news. In contrast to Facebook which had overloaded profiles thanks to the influx of over 20,000 new applications, Orkut is limiting users to adding up to 25 applications to their profile. “In the coming weeks” Orkut applications will be going live worldwide.

Orkut was one of the only remaining social platforms to not go live. This means that you can now develop applications for Facebook, Bebo, MySpace, hi5 and Orkut. These social networks comprise the largest demographic base. There are other platforms that are also leveraging the OpenSocial standard but for now these are the largest of the pack. Facebook continues to lead the way with the most rapid user adoption and the existence of large ad networks that can drive users at launch time.

OpenSocial is still in the early stages and there is much development that still needs to be done. It is an unproven platform but based on the feedback received from early users, it has made it substantially easier to port applications across multiple networks and has reduced overall development time. As of yet, I have no details on the viral channels available to Orkut developers but should have an update later today.