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Google's Orkut in Brazil: What's so social about it?

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Eva Fa

on 12 November 2013

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Transcript of Google's Orkut in Brazil: What's so social about it?

Orkut in Brazil
Brief history of social networking sites

How do social networking sites work?
What has contributed to their immense popularity?

Why was Orkut so successful in Brazil?
What caused problems later?

Why did Google refuse to hand over Orkut user data?

What caused problems later?
Internet laws were not well-defined

Illegal activities over the Net

Fight crimes like pedophilia and racism on the Internet

Brazil = home of variety of cultures and ethnicities

World's highest level of socio-economic inequality

Favelas (shantytowns) = are crime-rich
Success of Orkut in Brazil
Thank you for your attention and for your participation!
Zanna Aleksahhina,
Eva Maria Falkenburg
Ines Kuric
Vojin Mitic
Travis Westover
What is Orkut?

Social networking website - owned by Google

Named after Orkut Büyükkökten

2005 - Portuguese version

Blogs had proved successful

Popularity by 2011 -> 59% Brazil; 27% India

25 million Brazilian users visited Orkut
Has more than 50% of all Internet users from Latin America

Started getting wired in 1988

1999 -> third highest number of Internet users in America

Passionate about social media applications

BUT: sensitive to the American dominance
2005 - joined China in a bid

Few laws and limited resources to govern the Internet's rapid growth
Derivided problems for Orkut
Anti-social-formed communities (e.g. Neo-Nazis)

Violations of human rights

Gang of drug dealers used Orkut to sell drugs
Distribution of pornographic images involving children on Orkut
Problems with the Internet-use:

How do social networking sites work?
Social file and media sharing opportunities ( Flicker, Last FM)

Symbiotic relationship between friends and bands (MySpace)

Added features (MySpace)

Access above age 13 (Facebook)

Facebook Platform for developers (Facebook)

Brands and companies create profile pages

Advertising -> opportunities in user-generated content
History of social networking sites
1997 -> SixDegrees.com
Failed due to lack of sustainable model

2002 -> Friendster
Word-of-mouth -> grew to 300,000 users
Technical & social difficulties

2003 -> MySpace
Symbolic relationship between friends and bands

2004 -> Orkut in Brazil (Google)

2005 -> Facebook

Popularity -> illegal activities (child pornography, harassment)
1. Creation of a unique account -> registration with and
email address and password

2. Confirmation email for validation of person’s identity

3. Creation of profile (location, hobbies, upload photos
and multimedia content)

4. Search for other users by name/email address -> send a
friend request

5. Accumulate a large list of friends -> adding himself
herself to the social network -> easily stay in touch
What has contributed to social website immense popularity?
Social file and media sharing opportunities (Flicker, Last FM)

Symbiotic relationship between friends and bands (MySpace)

Added features

Access above age 13 (Facebook)

Facebook Platform for developers

Companies especially brands created profile pages
Problems with the Internet in Brazil
Why did Google refuse to hand over Orkut's user data?
Two lawsuits against Google
Civil one - for loss of representativeness
Criminal one - for protecting criminals & refusing to comply

Claimed US law - data stored on U.S servers
Not subject to Brazilian law

Release would set a precedent for other, less democratic countries to request to do the same

2006 -> SaferNet passed on ~ 100,000 complaints against Orkut

Demands for the site to be shut down
How should Internet companies decide whether or not to share user information with the legal authority?
They eventually released the data
significant fallout

Advertising on Orkut
Adsense not so sensible
Many companies pulled their advertising from Orkut

Deresky, Helen; International Management, Harlow: Pearson, 2014
Orkut.com Site Info; In-text: (Alexa.com 2013); Bibliography: Alexa.com. "Orkut.com Site Info." 2013. http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/orkut.com (accessed 11 Nov 2013).
Easy to pronounce

Colour scheme -> Brazilian Football World Cup Team

Embedded in Brazilian culture
"I'm going to delete you from my Orkut"

Lacked advertising

Communities were built around serveral themes
Full transcript