Orkut to get a makeover, Not that anyone cares

Remember the time when orkut was a big rage and actually exciting to use? It had launched just around the time Gmail launched (If I remember correctly) and was riding on the Google-is-great hype. And it was fun. Maybe it seemed to be fun because it was the first and only social network that my friends and I had used. But we did enjoy it, a lot.

It got me in touch with old school friends and brought back memories. It brought to my notice that the cute girl from the junior batch was actually dumb and had pathetic taste in almost everything. It helped me connect with people from different colleges who got placed in the same company as me. And the concept of open information was like a blessing in disguise for certain people. I have friends who used to come and tell me that I had a new scrap from X. They practically knew everything about everyone’s life as long as they were on orkut!

But as time passed, I got bored of orkut. I did reply to the occasional scrap and smiled at the gazillions of birthday wishes I received but that was just about it. There were other social networks like Friendster and Hi5 but I never created an account. This continued till the day I read about Facebook. I was very late to the party but the whole Application framework sounded great. I created an account and started fiddling around. In no time, I was a fan! I was poking random people, throwing random stuff at friends and competing with them in movie/tv quizzes and simple Flash games like Crazy Taxi. It made sense to do stuff with friends instead of just chatting around. Orkut launched it’s own version of apps too but they never felt good enough to me. They just didn’t work hard enough to integrate it neatly with the already clunky interface.

Now almost everyone I know has a Facebook account. Some log in once a week, comment on photos, watch videos, take some quizzes and log out. Some actively update their status multiple times a day, comment on almost everything, watch and share every video, take every quiz and never log out. And some are in there for the incredibly addictive games. They must, at all time, improve their score at Mafia Wars, Poker or Farmville or any of the other gazillion *Zynga* games. But basically everyone does something on Facebook. I personally love the iPhone Facebook app and log in at least couple of times in a day. In short, people are using orkut lesser and lesser.

So today, when I read about the orkut makeover I was pleased. It felt like Google had not forgotten orkut, not that anybody cared. The new features didn’t sound too bad as well:

  • Fewer pages, faster browsing (Everything in the same place like your Facebook stream)
  • Clean, simple interface (It was about time they cleaned up the clutter that orkut has become)
  • Greater customization
  • Much, much more (Sure, why not!)

But the things start going downhill once you visit the community page where you can get the new orkut. Oh yes, you have to get it. Seriously the invite thing has gone overboard.

First you see this cheesy image, the purpose of which is still a mystery to me.

new orkut experience

And then you see this video showing off the cool features. Beware, the video is so lame that it can cause you to puke. No, seriously!

So if you haven’t spoilt/broken your computer screen till now, do write a comment abusing orkut’s marketing team (or whoever was responsible for this campaign). And if you liked the video go get yourself checked, but again do leave a comment, this time abusing me.

[orkut via pluggd.in]

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