Google is shutting down its first social network, Orkut

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Looking to shift more attention to the Google+ social network, Google will be officially shutting down the Orkut social network as of September 30, 2014 and will not be allowing anyone to create an Orkut account as of July 2014. Created approximately 10 years ago within the Web company, the social network became somewhat popular outside of the United States, particularly within India and Brazil. Of course, the launch of Google+ pushed Orkut to the sidelines in the U.S. even more. In fact, it’s surprising that Google has allowed Orkut to exist for an entire 10-year span due to the lack of interest from potential users within North America, Europe and the majority of Asia.

Brazil is still hanging on in the World Cup tournament that the country is hosting, but a site that’s been popular among Brazilians, Orkut, is bowing out of the social-network competition. Google on Monday said it will shut Orkut to focus on its other social-networking businesses, including YouTube, Blogger and Google+. The move highlights Google’s struggles with social networking, a fast-growing and lucrative industry that Google mostly missed despite dabbling early in the area. Orkut started a decade ago as Google’s first foray into social networking. It caught on in Brazil and a few other countries areas but suffered as Facebook’s social network and Asian rivals became the dominant sites in much of the world. Google+, which the company launched as its main social network in 2011, also has been struggling. Vic Gundotra, who headed the business, left in April as the service’s user numbers continued to lag way behind those of Facebook. Orkut’s growth lagged behind that of the company’s other social-networking businesses, Google said. The service will be shut Sept. 30 and no new Orkut accounts can be created as of Monday, it said. Existing users can export their profile data, posts and photos using a service called Google Takeout that will be available until September 2016, Google said.

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