Key facts from the article: Orkut is 1/4 the size of MySpace (Comscore shows a much closer race), but they've recently taken the lead in the Asia/Pacific region. Orkut is also very strong in Latin America, with double the traffic of MySpace and Facebook combined.
Business Week also confirms our estimated November 5 launch date for a new set of APIs which let developers build applications that span a number of Google services. We heard the from sources here in Silicon Valley; their sources are third-party developers based in India.
Google plans to open up Orkut as a Platform, with fewer restrictions than Facebook. As an example, they say, application developers may be able to host applications on their own servers (Facebook does not permit this). Other Google services will be made available as well “If the plan succeeds, users might begin to see applications combining Orkut with Google Maps that would show where friends are located.”
And the article is also confirming that Google is thinking beyond their own properties, too. “For example, an Orkut widget for Facebook might enable Facebook users to see whether their Orkut friends are online through their Facebook pages.”