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How Orkut Works

Benefits of Orkut
Orkut uses your search words to find relevant Ads by Google.
Orkut uses your search words to find relevant Ads by Google.
Screenshot by Stephanie Crawford

The benefits of orkut are similar to those of other social networking Web sites. Orkut gives you tools to keep in touch with friends, share a bit of yourself and meet people who share your interests. It also fosters a sense of security by requiring membership to use the site, restricting the membership age to 18 and older and allowing you to show or hide certain information from other users. With its growth in Brazil and India, it encourages growth among those who share the cultures and languages of those countries.

Another benefit of orkut is that it's free of the banner ads that take up space on some other social network Web sites. Instead of positioning banner ads on every orkut page, Google places ads in the search results when you search orkut for a particular topic. Google selects ads by combining your current location with the words you used in your search. For example, a search for "volkswagen" shows not only the users, communities, and topics in orkut, but it also shows advertising links for local Volkswagen dealerships and Web sites where you can find discount Volkswagen parts.

Orkut's primary competitors are other social networking sites with similar features and extendibility through applications. This includes Facebook and MySpace, which currently dominate the market in the United States and are fast growing in global popularity, too [source: Nielsen]. While orkut far outweighs its competition in Brazil and India, it has a long way to climb in its home country, even though Google is the top Internet brand in the United States [source: Nielsen].