Google Tuesday said it is shutting down Orkut, its "first foray into social networking," to focus on YouTube, Blogger, and Google+ services that have proven more popular. Orkut was launched early in 2004, the same year that Facebook, now the world's No.1 social network with 1.28 billion users, was founded.
The California technology titan will pull the plug on 10-year-old Orkut at the end of September. The blogpost by Orkut reads, "We will shut down Orkut on September 30, 2014. Until then, there will be no impact on current Orkut users, to give the community time to manage the transition. People can export their profile data, community posts and photos using Google Takeout (available until September 2016). Starting today, it will not be possible to create a new Orkut account."
"Over the past decade, YouTube, Blogger and Google+ have taken off," Google engineering director Paul Golgher said in a blog post.
"Because the growth of these communities has outpaced Orkut's growth, we've decided to bid Orkut farewell."
Orkut was the result of a "20 per cent project" in which Google workers got to spend a fifth of their time on ideas not necessarily related to their job responsibilities.
Orkut proved particularly popular in Brazil, where two years ago it was eclipsed by social networking powerhouse Facebook.
Google launched its Google+ social network in 2011 and has been slowly weaving it into other services.