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Orkut relaunched with new design, features; currently available through invites

by Satrajit Sen

Google has redesigned its social networking site Orkut. The company claims that the new Orkut is faster and easier to use; and will allow users to upload photos in bulk, post video testimonials, change the colour of the content boxes, and discover friends automatically. Orkut users will now also be able to do video chat, through Google Talk, with their friends.

by Satrajit Sen

Google has redesigned its social networking site Orkut. The company claims that the new Orkut is faster and easier to use; and will allow users to upload photos in bulk, post video testimonials, change the colour of the content boxes, and discover friends automatically. Orkut users will now also be able to do video chat, through Google Talk, with their friends.

Some of the other features included in the new Orkut are built-in simultaneous chat, photo tagging with automatic face detection, private sharing of photo albums and safety features. According to Google, the new Orkut is currently available through invites and will soon be made available to all users.

Vinay Goel, head of products, Google India, has said, “Orkut is an integral part of Google’s larger social web strategy which allows users to interact, engage and collaborate. We are committed to evolve our offerings to ensure the best user experience on all our platforms. The new Orkut experience is built from scratch on one of the latest, fast and flexible technology platforms which will enable us to roll out exciting new features during the next few months.”

“We had studied the user behaviour closely and found out that the users primarily need two things from a social network,” Rahul Kulkarni, product manager, Orkut, has told AlooTechie. “Firstly, the user wants everything on one place and thus we planned to integrate GTalk, YouTube, video scraps, video testimonials and other features that were not there on Orkut previously. Secondly, we saw that users care about only 15 to 20 friends and want their information. Thus the friend updates feature has been redone and friend suggestion has been introduced to help users get connected to new as well as old friends.”

According to Rahul Kulkarni, Orkut still believes that the real worth of social networks lies in personal communication and not in public broadcasts done on Twitter and other platforms. “Twitter is a great way of communication but the DNA of Orkut is personal communication and all these new features are going to help users connect to friends on a more personal level,” said Kulkarni.

Rahul Kulkarni further informed that the features of the new Orkut have been simultaneously rolled out across all markets. However, the access to the new designed Orkut will be kept in the invite only mode for the next couple of weeks. According to Kulkarni, Orkut gets about 80 million logins per month from across the world and 30 million photos are uploaded on the site every day. Most of the Orkut users still come from India and Brazil. Speaking about the advertising initiative launched on Orkut, Rahul Kulkarni said that brands from different verticals such as education, telecom, insurance, finance and FMCG have advertised on Orkut.

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