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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Orkut Highlights for 2007

As we started the new year, we took some time to look back on the year for orkut. Sometimes we get so caught up looking forward to all the new features we want to launch, we forget to look back at what we have accomplished. If you've been on orkut since January, you may remember when you first saw these features. Or if you've joined more recently you may never have known the site without these favorites. So here are the highlights for this year by month - turns out orkut has come a long way!

In January, we launched our first mobile feature on orkut with orkut SMS integration with Claro, the Brazilian mobile carrier. Since then we have partnered with other mobile providers, and you can now send and receive scraps and find your friends' contact information if you have phone service with AmazĂ´nia Celular, Brasil Telecom, Claro, or Telemig Celular. If you still haven't signed up it's not too late to receive those new years scraps on your cell phone: just go to settings and click on the mobile tab.

February brought videos to orkut when we launched integration with Google Video and YouTube. People began copying and pasting URLs of their favorite videos onto the favorite videos page of their profiles. This has been one of the most popular feature launches ever. Since February you have added over 300 million videos to your profiles!

Orkut Buyukkokten, the creator of, visited Brazil for the first time in March and spent three weeks touring the country, giving tech talks to hundreds of University Students, conducting focus groups and interviewing with the press. If you missed the visit you can check out the community and the photo album.

Community Polls were enabled in April. Since then people have been voting on topics from the best restaurants in their cities to the most important politician of their towns.

May brought feed integration, allowing you to bring in content from your favorite blogs, Picasa Web Albums or any other source that supports feeds. Still haven't added a feed? Why not add this blog so you always know the latest. Go to add stuff in the left navigation and add the URL.

You wouldn't be reading this if we hadn't launched this blog in June! In case you are bilingual, check out the blog in Portuguese as well.

We were honored to receive the award for "Best Social Networking Site!" from India PC World in July.

The biggest milestone for orkut, perhaps since the launch of the site, happened in August when we launched the visual redesign. This included a slight change to the colors, rounded corners, new icons and an easier-to-use navigation. While giving the site a facelift we also maintained the familiarity and simplicity you've enjoyed for years. Can you even remember the old orkut?

We revamped the site again in September to show updates from your friends right on your homepage. To show or hide your own updates go to the settings page.

In October, we went from allowing you to upload only 12 photos to your album to allowing 100 photos in your album. If you still haven't filled up your album, why not add your latest holiday photos?

This November, Google made the announcement that orkut would be opening up to developers through OpenSocial. If you're a software developer you can test out the platform by joining our Sandbox. We look forward to seeing what applications you're developing for orkut when we launch the platform to consumers next year.

As the year winded down in December, we launched new privacy features that allow you more control over who sees your photos, videos, testimonials and scraps.

Happy New Year orkuters-- we look forward to a great 2008!

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