Google is still pinning its hope on Orkut, the term that once rocked countries like Brazil and India but is sliding into mere oblivion today. All due to proliferation of the social networking giant Facebook. Unlike Facebook and other social networking sites, it hardly makes news about any new features or offerings. As the ice was getting stronger with each passing day, it had no other option to break it but to roll out a new feature, which is called badges.
Users will now be able to collect badges based on their activities on the site. For instance, if you have been on Orkut for more than five years now and are active still, you would win yourself an ‘Early Badge’. On the other hand if you are an active promoter, you will be provided with a ‘Promoter Badge’.
Like these, there are six other badges that include Millionaire Community, Graduate, Master, Trendsetter, Super User and Strong Contributor. Once you win a badge, it’s up to you if you want to display it on your profile or not. However, the feature is not yet rolled out completely.
If the present trends are to be believed than Orkut is losing its sheen to biggies like Facebook and MySpace. Its aspiration to keep the flame burning is evident from this new feature. In a way, it is a good way to give some kind of recognition to those who are still active on the site and keep them loyal too. But it’s been long since the Google owned social networking last released new features. On the other hand, Facebook has robbed it of many users, thereby making it a kind of inferior site to be associated with.
Orkut’s new badge feature can be a sinful treat to its active users. For a certain amount of time, it could keep them engaged however it is inevitable that they will eventually get bored with the badges. As such, Orkut or say Google for that matter should consider churning out some exciting features that could win back the users before it’s too late.
Orkut appears less intuitive when compared to Facebook but there was a time when people especially in India were too excited over sending or receiving scraps or photo comments and adding friends. Google should learn something from this fact and try something innovative and exciting to win back the competition. But only the badges won’t help them do that. What do you say?