Orkut has been one of the sensational things in the past few months almost through out the country. A social networking website with no ads. Thats fantastic. You have your homepage as clean as the google homepage.
Is that that not what you wanted? But why is google is carrying on this? What profits are they gaining? Though it was a 20% product of a google employee, its no longer so. Google has keen interests on that and that is visible from the developments made.Regular server updates, changes in the looks and making it more strict to avoid spams.. enter a code to submit a link. Why do you think they need to take care of security to this exetnt if that was just a 20% project?
They dont have any ads. So absolutely no revenue. Then why is that they need it?
First of all is Google in need of it? The answer is an obvious yes. They are very much in need of such a thing not to establish a good customer base. They have already done it. They need it to lock that customer base within the google confinements. Now tomorrow what if suddenly there comes upa search engine better than Google. Would not people drift towards it? Yes they will, just in the same way they had drifted to Google few years ago.
But even with the onset of Google dont we see people sticking to Yahoo, AOL and MSN? And thats because they have locked their customers within their confinements, which google is now trying. Remember friends unlike its competitors Google does not posses a big customer database which they can boast of. And moreover it started directly as a serach engine and not like any other web based service like its competitors.
So what google now needs is that customer data which they can make use of in their killer application " The Search Engine".
With this social networking kind of a thing they are collecting a lot of data, our personal data. So what may happen eventually? Well may be the orkut.com will become orkut.google.com and a *.google.com cookie will be set with a small tag identifying your account name and BAM!!! there you go. Your searching patterns tracked and the results made more specific to you at the cost of your personal information. The proof is the ton of information that your orkut profile carries. Is it not too much?
Now you say that they have gmail for that. But do you think it attracted people to the extent orkut is doing? Did people spend the same amount of time using gmail which they are now spending on orkut? Arent the people from non-technical communities also getting into this, enriching the orkut database? Thats the phenomenal effect socail networking websites have on people. And the hyped part is the invitation only entry. So they make the entry restricted and when you have an invitation and create a orkut account you feel previlaged and make extesnsive use of it. And people come to you asking you to send them an invitation and the sense of previlage makes peoplethink of it as a matter of pride and achievement. And the chain grows. The data increases.
Moreover have you not observed that all the Google things are linked to just one account. You access all the things through the same identify.You logout from one and you are out from the others also. Atleast its true with Firefox. So its our personal information that google is upon.
Ofcourse its all for improving the service that they are providing. But at the same time when we start attaching ourselves with so many things from google then we would not switch to some other thing just because it searches faster and saves few miili seconds which we cant event realize. Thats confining the customers and google is heading towards it.
Just think whether you can share your personal information for the sake of better service, with something like google?
So now do you think that google is indeed in requirement of something like orkut.
What do you say?