Monday, March 17, 2008

Orkut vs Facebook

When you are surfing where do you spend most of your time? Chances are with the Web 2.0 revolution you must be spending a substantial amount of your time online on Social Networking Sites like Orkut or Facebook! Well for those who are unaware, Orkut is the social networking site by Google which is extremely popular in India and Brazil. Facebook is the Social Networking site by 26 year old Mark Zuckerberg that has taken the US and the rest of the world by storm! I do not have statistics as to which one is more popular in the world but probably Facebook is way ahead of Orkut.

But when it comes to India, most likely if you have an account on any Social Networking Site it has to be Orkut. Probably the Google factor is the reason why Orkut caught attention of us Indians before Facebook. Within no time, you were a loser if you did not have an Orkut account. It was the in-thing for the youth. People could catch up with long lost friends. In some cases, people would search for long lost teenage crushes (that boy or girl in school who made your heart beat like oscillations of pistons in a steam engine!) and be happy to see that the subject was still single and praise Orkut for the infinite possibilities it opened up or be heartbroken once again to find that the subject was committed with a sentimental testimonial thrown in from the subject's love interest and curse Orkut for ruining your dreams! For some it would be teasing another friend on receiving a scrap from a hot girl, only finding out later from another person that the girl was your friends sister! It was about snooping into what people are doing online, which basically was a reflection of what people were doing in their lives. It provided the much needed masala to gupshup or bakchodi between friends. The openness of Orkut was something which worried some but it was essentialy the spice that kept people hooked on to the site. I was one of the people hooked on to it. I have had some unpleasant experiences as well. But overall, it was THE way to kill time.

Slowly, the abuse of the openness started. And around the same time Facebook as an alternative to Orkut started gaining ground. People talked about how Facebook was the most popular social site in US. People who loved Orkut for what it was didn't bither about Facebook. But many people joined it just to give it a try. Slowly but surely the privacy issue was moving in favor of Facebook. Many more joined it and stopped frequenting their Orkut accounts.

As a response Orkut introduced many features to control who has access to do what. While this feature is welcome, it has taken away the openness that once provided the spice to Orkut. Now, chances are that the girl with the beautiful photograph does not wish to receive you scrap for friendship. You cant scrap and hence are not looking forward to any response. Such features are already present on Facebook. But what Facebook has done by opening up itself to applications by third parties is phenomenal. In Orkut you can scrap, participate in communities and see what others are upto.

In facebook, with 3rd party applications, you can go a step further and play online games with your friends. The experience on facebook is more interactive and enriching than Orkut. If you haven't tried facebook then try at your risk. I have got a taste of the blood it has to offer and I must say that it seemed pretty delicious. Orkut is fine but I believe it is losing out to facebook.

Unless Google does something about this, Orkut may lose the No. 1 spot in India as well to Facebook.

1 comment:

  1. Well, i have been a big fan of Orkut and a good chunk of my seventh sem and 8th Sem was spent on Orkut.I wonder how i would have killed time then without Orkut!!. Orkut was THE place to be. No wonder that Orkut was voted as the 'Pepsi-MTV Youth Icon'. I thought that Orkut is limited to people with free access to internet in colleges or offices, however when i went to ranchi after my 7th Sem, i was surprised to see people in the Internet Cafe in Argora 'scrapping' on Orkut. Orkut had definitely eaten up a big market of the messenger business.

    However, today i just login into orkut to check if someone has scraped me or not. Sassy u r correct, orkut has lost its charm. I had registered on Facebook long back but it was only since last month that i started 'checking out' facebook and i would say that its definitely a welcome break from the monotony of Orkut!!