• Google Will Shut Down Its Orkut Social Network In September

    Google Will Shut Down Its Orkut Social Network In September

    Orkut, the social networking service Google launched back in 2004, miraculously survived multiple rounds of spring cleaning despite the fact that it was never a huge hit outside of Brazil, India and a few other countries. It was always just a matter of time before Google was going to shut it down, however, and that day has now come. Read More

  • Vostu, The Zynga Of Brazil, Raises $30 Million At $300 Million Valuation

    Vostu, The Zynga Of Brazil, Raises $30 Million At $300 Million Valuation

    Social gaming is an international phenomenon. While Zynga is the leading social gaming company in the U.S., in Brazil it is a company called Vostu. The company has been growing rapidly and just closed a $30 million series C financing led by Tiger Management, with Accel Partners joining the round. Accel partner Jim Breyer, who sits on Facebook’s board, will take a board seat on Vostu. Read More

  • Is a New Orkut-to-Facebook Export Feature What's Crashing Facebook?

    Ah, the power of those emerging world eyeballs. According to commenters and tipsters, a big thing that could be crashing Facebook today is a new feature that allows people to link their Orkut profiles to Facebook via Facebook connect. (Screenshot on this post.) Jaimin Rajani of Tech.nolicio.us tells us it has only been live about an hour. This is important for two reasons: Brazil and India. Read More

  • Google's Marissa Mayer on Google Instant

    Marissa Mayer: Orkut's U.S. Failure Was Due To Slow Performance After Fast Growth

    Today at our TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, Google’s Marissa Mayer took the stage to talk a bit with our own Michael Arrington. After she revealed a couple new Google Instant features, she went right into another topic: social. Michael (of course) asked Mayer to disclose Google’s plans for their upcoming social strategy. Mayer (of course) would not do that. But… Read More

  • "Bom Sabado" Worm Hits Google's Orkut

    In a week marked by Twitter and Facebook service fails, Google just became the third huge web service to experience turbulence, with primarily Brazilian social network Orkut being hit hard today by the “Bom Sabado” javascript worm, which infected user streams with a scrap with the text “Bom Sabado” and then automatically signed up those users for groups. Read More

  • Orkut About To Fall To Facebook In India

    For all the grief Google gets for not understanding social networks, people often forget that it owns a pretty big one, Orkut. While Orkut is much smaller than Facebook worldwide, it does dominate in at least two large countries: Brazil and India. But that soon may change. India looks like it is about to fall to Facebook. In May, 2010, Facebook attracted 18 million unique visitors in… Read More

  • India's SMS GupShup Raises $12 Million For Twitter-Like Social Network

    SMS GupShup, a Twitter-like service in India that is primarily accessed via SMS, has raised $12 million in funding led by Globespan Capital Partners with existing investors Charles River Ventures and Helion Venture Partners participating in the round. The latest capital injection brings SMS GupShup’s total funding to $37 million. Launched in April 2007, SMS GupShup (spawned from… Read More

  • World Map Of Social Networks Shows Rise Of Facebook

    Italian writer, blogger and photographer Vincenzo Cosenza has for the second time put together a visualization that shows the most popular social networks around the world on a map, based on the most recent traffic data (December 2009) as measured by Alexa & Google Trends for Websites. The first one, which we featured in June 2009, already painted a picture of Facebook taking over the… Read More

  • F1 Racing Driver Barrichello Wins $500,000 Libel Suit Against Google

    Google has been ordered by a Brazilian court to pay Formula One racing driver Rubens Barrichello $500,000 in damages for the presence of fake online profiles of the driver on its social network Orkut, which is hugely popular in the man’s home country. The civil case, which was filed in July 2006, related to hundreds of fake profiles for Barrichello that were created on Orkut, some of… Read More

  • Orkut Gets Streamlined In An Attempt To Fend Off Facebook And Twitter

    Forgive us for not noticing sooner, but last week Google’s social network Orkut announced that it is rolling out a complete redesign. The new site is faster and, like every other social network these days, puts the activity stream front and center. Orkut has actually reduced the number of pages so that the most popular actions can all be done from the home stream. For instance, there… Read More

  • Orkut Slows Hemorrhaging To Facebook By Making Friend Export Tool Nearly Useless

    Orkut continues to undermine Google’s Data Liberation Front, whose singular goal is to “make it easier for users to move their data in and out of Google products”. Earlier this month the Orkut friend exporter, which makes it easy to export your friends’ contact information to a standard CSV file, was mysteriously broken due to a bug. The timing of the bug was more than… Read More

  • Facebook Tries To Suck The Last Drops Of Life Out Of Orkut In The US

    Facebook has seen amazing growth over the last few years, and has long since established itself as the largest social network in the world. But the battle isn’t over yet — Facebook is still duking it out overseas with a number of other social networks to establish regional dominance. In India, Google-owned Orkut has nearly twice as many unique visitors as Facebook. So Facebook… Read More

  • Google Fixes That Pesky "Let's Stop Facebook's Growth In India" Bug

    As expected, Google is calling new feature that blocked users from exporting their Orkut contacts a “bug.” An update today on the Data Liberation Blog (the group we specifically called out last night when wondering what was going on) notes that while Google was in the process of “adding additional security measures to Orkut Friends Export” it inadvertently broke the… Read More

  • Google Has A Plan To Stop The Mass Exodus From Orkut: No Friend Exports For You!

    Just yesterday, we wrote about how Facebook was quickly gaining on Google’s social network, Orkut, in places like India where Orkut is still the big dog. One reason for Facebook’s gains is that they’ve been heavily promoting the fact that you can import your Orkut contacts via a special tool. Well guess what? As of today, that tool no longer works. And that’s not all. Read More

  • Facebook's Plan To Trounce Orkut In India May Be Working

    With the growing market of internet users in the country, India has become a battlefield for social networks. Google-owned Orkut has long been the most popular social network in India, with Facebook fighting to catch up. But Facebook has been upping the ante over the past few months, and according to August’s ComScore numbers, the plan may be working. In August, Orkut’s unique… Read More

  • On the Eve Of Its First Birthday, Yahoo Quietly Shuts Down Indian Social Network SpotM

    Yahoo India has decided to shut down SpotM, the social network it launched less than a year ago in India. According to the site, SpotM. which never exited private beta, will be shut down on Sep. 1. Yahoo launched SpotM as a social network for the 16-24 age bracket in an attempt to capture the growing market in India. It appeared that SpotM had potential to take off due the popularity of… Read More

  • A Map Of Social (Network) Dominance

    Even on the Web, world dominance must be achieved one country at a time. While Facebook has long been the largest social network in the world, and should soon pass MySpace in the U.S., it is not the largest social network in every country. The map above created by Vincenzo Cosenza resembles more a game of Risk, with Facebook sweeping across the globe from the West. Using Alexa and Google… Read More

  • Modeling The True Value Of Social Networks: 2009 Edition

    A year ago we modeled out the true value of various social networks based on the idea that users in high-value online advertising markets like Japan, the UK and the U.S. were worth more (financially speaking) than those in lower value online advertising markets. Facebook had recently become the largest worldwide social network in terms of users, but based on our model MySpace was still by far… Read More

  • Social Networking: Will Facebook Overtake MySpace In The U.S. In 2009?

    Year end Comscore numbers for the U.S. audience are out. The first thing we checked? How the major social networks are doing. Facebook, which became the largest worldwide social network in mid 2008, is still playing catch up to MySpace in the U.S. They have 54.5 million monthly unique visitors, says Comscore, compared to nearly 76 million for MySpace. But Facebook’s growth rate in the U.S. Read More

  • Top Social Media Sites of 2008 (Facebook Still Rising)

    What were the top social media sites of 2008? ComScore came out with its worldwide traffic stats for November a few days ago (so these don’t include December). They are a mix of social networks and blogging platforms. Blogger, the orange line in the chart above, still rules the roost with an estimated 222 million unique worldwide visitors in November (up 44 percent from November, 2007). Read More