Orkut and facebook are the most popular social networking sites these days on the internet. Facebook has become very popular in North America while Orkut has surpassed facebook and took over the market share in India. This is because Indians don't access the internet everyday and are not very eager to use social networking.
Before starting a detailed analysis lets see some recent facts. According to recent market studies, Facebook owns 11.5% of market share, while Orkut holds just 1%. Facebook was launched later than Orkut. Facebook is becoming the best social networking site in this world.
Why Orkut is lagging behind in this race, even though it is accompanied by Google ??
Let discuss the Pros and cons of both networking sites:-
Interface - User interface is one of the main concern for the growth of these networking sites. They should be simple enough to attract common public who don't browse web pages more. This is more applicable to countries other than United States. Orkut succeeded in doing this. Orkut page is so simple to browse. It doesn't need any help tutorial to start with. While Facebook, on the other hand is little complex to understand. Orkut however has started prompting users to change their profile page to a new layout but people still want to use the old interface because it is very simple !
Facebook Connect - This is the crispiest feature in Facebook that allows you to re-connect with your old buddies. You have to just type your school name or workplace name and facebook pulls out information available from millions of users. Additionally, facebook suggests its users at time to time basis to add a new friend if he is in that networking circle.
Social gaming - Social gaming has become a huge success for facebook's popularity. There are thousands of games integrated in facebook and there are about 83 million facebook users for Farmville game. Similarly, there are many other games in facebook which is liked by many users like Mafia wars, Cafe World etc. Orkut on the other hand doesn't really have these many social apps.
Security - Recently, Facebook is facing lot of problems related to user's security. People can find other people's information and pictures by just visiting their websites. Facebook has started taking this very seriously, since it can lead to its downfall. Even user profile information is being extracted by all those social gaming agencies. Orkut on the other hand has implemented privacy settings long back and the user can change the settings as and when required. So, it was never under any controversy.
Restricted networking - If you want to be a part of your companies profile in facebook, you need to provide company's email address in order to be a part of the network. While on orkut, you can hit join button and that will do the job. If the communities are moderated then moderator has to accept your request. But still it doesn't really hold a solid proof for joining that network. Also, if you add a new friend on facebook since he is in your office, then he can request for other informations like office id etc inorder to add you.
Feeds of Activity - Anything that is done on facebook is maintained as a record. If you add a picture, or you are tagged in a picture, when someone added a new friend, or someone got married etc everyone gets to know this. Know this is questionable... For some people it is okay to spread the information while for some people it is not a good feature.
Tagging relationship status - If someone is in a relationship, or someone got married they can change their status and they can tag their partner in their profile if they are also in the Facebook. I found this interesting when i opened a Facebook account for my husband !
Orkut communities - Orkut maintains a huge database of user communities. There are many discussions going on in these communities. This feature is widely used in asian countries and they find it pretty helpful specially when you want to propage some message.
Orkut has some good features such as - Integration of google chat in your profile, No. of times someone views your profile, saving profile links of people whom you randomly find on the network etc.
Well, inspite of all these positive points still Facebook is leading in America. I personally have both orkut and facebook accounts. I use Orkut to connect to my friends and see their developments since most of my friends and relatives live in India. While i use Facebook daily for updating my status, playing social apps and connecting with my friends and colleagues.