Orkut has quietly launched a feature that will take the orkut platform beyond the web and into people hands i.e. sms for your scraps. I personally feel this feature has come too late for the early adoptor segment which already seems to have moved on to things like facebook, twitter and the even more enthusiastic ones are feasting on friendfeed which kind of aggregates your social graph.
Though orkut has launched the sms feature it doesn’t include 3 large telecom operators namely Airtel, Vodafone and BSNL! Now my question is what could be the reason behind this? Given that these three together probably form a majority of the GSM market. (Bharti 32.16 % market share, followed by Vodafone with 22.9% market share and BSNL at third slot with 18.79% – TRAI Report for quarter ending January-March 2008).
Also if you remember, previously Airtel partenered with Google to offer search services on mobile.
Any reason for excluding Vodafone/Airtel/BSNL?
Well no apparent reason can be figured by us as to why orkut wouldn’t include these in their list of telecom carriers. Infact I tried searching if price could be factor and orkut’s own pricing page doesn’t seem to mention the premium rates to be charged by users. All in all looks like the sms feature was hurriedly put together or is still being tested as even the orkut blog is still silent on the issue. One more and probably the correct reason could be the orkut’s current short code that facilitates this sms facility does not support the above telecom providers.
Reasons behind going SMS way?
Well, if you notice this scrap to SMS service is available only in Brazil and India. If you look at the demographics below, you can clearly understand the move behind mobile version and now SMS way.
orkut demographics Oct’ 2007 :
orkut demographics Aug’08:
Interestingly, Google Trends for website does not show any result for orkut.com
One more reason behind this step may be the Opera Mini key trends usage report where orkut tops the list.
So How can Vodafone/Airtel/BSNL subscribers get scrap updates on sms?
Orkut had recently released mobile version of its site and it seems this new feature is taking orkut even beyond gprs enabled phones. Mobile has definitely more reach and only if there was a way these smses would become free for the end user and then the ripple effect will be seen in the web usage and the overall engagement of the users across web and mobile.