Myspace is in Vouge, Facebook is in Play but Orkut is the One to Watch

Orkut vs. Myspace

Corey Ward, an e-Entrepreneur, was ranting and raving about the possibility of Orkut overtaking Myspace as the reining social network. After reading his post and doing a bit of digging of my own I think he may be onto something, its just not what he thinks. Corey points out that Orkut’s Alexa ranking is looking pretty good relative to flat Myspace ranking. While this is a very interesting observation (good catch Corey) its not the whole story.

In order to better understand the relationship between Orkut and Myspace I rechecked their Alexa rankings and threw in the rankings of 3 other social networking sites to add some context and contrast. The first thing that jumped out at me was how relatively flat (red) was compared to Orkut (blue). Even more surprising was how was being eclipsed by YouTube (green). Of course the 2 billion dollar boys at Facebook look like a really poor purchase decision given their flat Alexa ranking, which is surprisingly smaller then that of the perpetually moribund Friendster.

The daily traffic trends, as reported by Alexa, also seems to point in the direction of failing fortunes for Myspace, as more Alexa users users move towards platforms more tailored to their interest. Either that or Myspace has reached the peak of its faddish following and will Myspace had an early lead but Orkut is the Real winner now slowly decline into Boo styled obscurity. Note that both YouTube and Orkut continue to growth in traffic as Myspace, Facebook and Friendster remain flat in the six month period Alexa is showing. Given all the press attention around YouTube in the last few months it isnt surprising that they are growing but whats driving Orkuts growth? To get a better handle on what might be fueling Orkuts rise I checked out Google Trends to see how it would match-up with Alexa.

And survey says… Google pretty much agrees with Alexa on this one. The top three in terms of search volume are Myspace, Youtube and Orkut. While the general interest in Orkut, from a search perspective, isnt as great as that of Youtube or Myspace thats to be expected. It also looks like there is flattening in Myspace searches which, given its ubiquitous media presence should be expected. Whats really interesting here is the region data that Google Trends provides. You’ll note that Myspace dominates US and UK searches but doesnt even chart internationally. While Orkut, occupies mind-share in Brazil (pop. 180 million), Pakistan (pop. 170 million) and India (pop. 1 billion). Facebook and Friendster are pretty much irrelevant from an international perspective and dont seem to be making any in-roads in this areas, at least as reflected by Google and Alexa.

So anticipating demographic shifts in the US and growth of Internet usage internationally which business would you rather put money on today? The business thats US centric, has flat domestic growth, media saturation and little to no international appeal but a mature marketplace with revenues visibility and cash-out options. Or the business with an international base, expanding audience, large but immature markets and little competition. Suffice it to say that Google got one such business over 2 years ago at the cost of an engineers salary and Yahoo is pursuing getting the other type for somewhere north of 1 billion dollars.

20 Responses to Myspace is in Vouge, Facebook is in Play but Orkut is the One to Watch

  1. trucex says:

    Nice digging there. 🙂

    I actually managed to get an orkut invite shortly after the article, and I was able to see how orkut was primarily Brazil and India (compared to other similar websites). It’s interesting to see how broad this type of technology spans. I have to also wonder about the age demographics of orkut and youtube compared to myspace. It seems to me there are a lot more adults.

  2. Siddiq Bello says:

    Theres a really good post on this topic over at read/write web. Different stats, different perspective but same conslusions. Check it out here.

    Your probably right about the age thing and thats another good point. Us older folks are a bit more stable then you crazy myspace kids.


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  4. […] MySpace is not hot. Orkut will surpass Myspace within 2 months. The blurb here. Anybody has Orkust invite? email me please. Thanks. […]

  5. […] You think MySpace is hot? Think again. Orkut is where all the cool people are. […]

  6. Eric Gadfsa says:

    Very interesting to see that is lower than even, which I though was comatose. The NY Times even had a story on it recently, talking about how they went from 20 million to 1 million active users and the owners lost out on the opportunity to cash out big on their business. Orkut’s fortunes are surprising, but practically every young person in India is getting one, and I know a large percentage of Brazil’s population has orkut accounts. Now if only Russians and Chinese youths would sign up, we’d have the whole BRIC community together :).

  7. beyondwww says:

    Yo! Orkut definitely rocks and with the new features being added every day its is definitely getting more and more popular. I really like the friends map, in which you can see where all your friends are on a map.


  8. Andy says:

    Many people were saying Orkut would be biiger then Myspace if you read the posts above.
    Well I think they got that wrong then dont you. 🙂

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  10. Andy says:

    I noticed that the posting date for the article was september 2006, yet the very first graph is always upto date and is therefore dynamic. Is there a possibility to include facebook into it. This is important since the article was written BEFORE facebook really opened up and the latest alexa graphs will show that facebook’s growth pretty much leaves Myspace AND orkut in the dust. In fact orkut seems to have reached a flat point as well whereas facebook is going up exponentially.

  11. Very well written article !!! Orkut has a long way to go !!!

  12. Naeem Mohaiemen says:

    One thing though, I have read a lot of text showing how Alexa can be manipulated– although I suppose both FB and OK could do that.

  13. Suleman says:


    Orkut Is The Best Social Networking Site…
    It Has People From All Over The Globe…
    And It’s Not Confusing Like Facebook…
    Cant Say Anything About MySpace, Nobody I Know Has A MySpace Account Here In Pakistan!

    Everybody Is On Orkut Here In Karachi :))

    ~~Orkut RaWksSS~~ =D

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