NEW DELHI: Facebook may not be hard on the heels of Google yet but its spectacular growth is threatening to cast the internet search giant’s own
social networking site, Orkut, to the fringes of internet, at least in India.
The world’s second-most visited website after Google, which turned six on Friday, could surpass Orkut in the number of users to become India’s top social networking site by September, say a couple of studies. Though Orkut now has 15.5 million users compared to Facebook’s 10.4 million as of December, the Google site’s additions are at a sluggish 1.8% per month, says data from Mumbai-based Komli Ad Networks. Facebook, in contrast, is growing at a compounded 7.8% a month since July.
Going by this trend, Facebook could well overtake Orkut in India in about seven months. Though that is still some time away, analysts say Google could do well to peek into its past in India and the history of the internet, littered with decaying social networking services such as Six Degrees, Firefly and Friendster. The emergence of Gmail, Google’s mailing service, almost wiped out Hotmail, till then India’s most popular email service. Orkut might meet the same fate as Hotmail soon, they say.