|I was kind of surprised when I logged into Orkut today. It was not just the new pleasant looking logo of orkut on the left. There seemed to be much more...in the sense there was much more things written near the login box.|
Though there seems to be no communication about this, as far as I know, from Google, I realize that Google has taken orkut out from being an invitation only website. That meant that you no longer need to have a friend in orkut to open an account yourself.
This means that we can now see a lot many more orkut profiles who have '0' friends in their friend-list. Not that it is any significant as even previously, you could delete your friends, even the one who referred you to orkut, so it was possible to have zero friends.
So, what is the implication? I see two. One, is that a lot many more duplicate and fake profiles will arise.and two, there could be a lot more of spam, since now any spammer can open a new profile and start his work straightaway.
Now, let me speculate on what has caused Google to do this. Primarily because I feel Google now wants to see the number of gmail accounts growing. At the end, the success of an email company is gauged by the number of accounts and less on the unique users.
The much more critical thing that I see Google benefitting from are the Google ads. If you have been following things on orkut, you will know that they introduced Adwords ads on orkut recently. But the clickthru rate is naturally low since people come there to gossip and network and not to click ads. But in opening up the community to the group of people who are looking to spam, the company can expect a much higher click-thru rate. Also, the spam threads on communities will garner much more relevant ads(since a 'Make money from Internet' spam will generate more interesting ads than a discussion on lifestyle).
This is all very speculative and could also be terribly wrong, but I see there could be a little truth too in this.
After a comment from one of my blog visitors(Sorry, I do not have his name...) that Orkut has not seemed to have made this new feature available in all countries, I had to relook into this issue. I used the features of kProxy to access Orkut from a random server across the world. I thus noticed that the visitor was indeed right. Old Orkut still continues in some parts of the world. You can verify this with two links from KProxy.While this link from Server 6 got me the old screen of Orkut, Server 8 gives me what is available to me here in India.
Probably I should have had an inkling on seeing the Orkut logo which kind of resembles the tricolor of the Indian flag that this is not a worldwide introduction. Anyway, thanks again for pointing this one out :)
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