By 3 November 2009 | Categories: internet general


You might not recognise the name, but you’ll definitely know the company behind Orkut. Google’s social networking site, is set to take on the likes of Twitter and Facebook thanks to a spate of improvements and a new look, announced on 28 October.

Some of these improvements include a new, simpler to use interface that features larger pictures, targeted friend suggestions, and update notifications to the top of your homepage. The new user interface also makes for greater personalisation of your page and offers tailor-made privacy options that allow you to choose exactly who get’s to see which sections of your page or your private information on it. The activity stream function is an update messenger a lot like that of Twitter and Facebook\'s on which you can also post comments. You can load videos, even directly from YouTube and add a variety of applications. All your friends’ upcoming birthdays can also be displayed on your home screen.  

We liked that the uploading times for photos etc. was relatively quick. All the pages are easy to navigate through and set out, the fact that you can make every part of your page accessible to your friends, friends of friends, everyone or just yourself really gives you full control over the access to your information.  

What we didn’t like was finding friends (or rather not) or people you know. The recommended ones that Orkut provides you with are pretty much random and inviting people via e-mail (just like you do through other Google apps) simply didn’t yield much fruit either, as opposed to Facebook where you’d almost instantly have plenty of relevant contacts you can request to be added. 

Whether all the similarities with its more established rivals and the new renovations and look will make it a strong enough alternative remains to be seen, but with Google behind it one never knows.


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