Orkut’s Popularity in India – Orkut Zeitgeist 2009

How popular is Orkut in India?  How many Indian users on Orkut? Which communities are favoured by Indians on Orkut? What does Orkut tell us about the likes and dislikes of the nation? Can a social networking community truly gauge the pulse of a nation?

Orkut claims it has 17 million ‘active’ users in India which comprises 48% of India’s internet population(Sourc: ComScore). It has been discussed on various fora that ComScore numbers for India are largely unreliable beacuse of their flawed polling process. Nevertheless Google seems to believe them, and in response to the phenomenal growth in Facebook’s popularity in India and the surge in their Indian user base in 2009, Google is pulling every trick in the book to convince people that Orkut still matters. Does it? maybe? for how long? what we would like to know is 1) How many active Indian users of Orkut have become inactive over the last year 2) How many new registrations in the last quarter?.

In the week that Facebook crossed 4 million Indian users, Google has released its first ever Orkut Zeitgeist for India. For those unfamiliar with Google Zeitgeist (literally “Spirit of the times”, Etymology: German, from Zeit (time) + Geist (spirit)) it releases weekly, monthly & yearly data on the top rising searches for the US and monthly & yearly data for other countries. Google rarely ever released monthwise data for India (See Google Zeitgeist for India 2008) but now we have the Orkut Zeitgeist measuring the pulse of the nation

The press release itself smacks of desperation and bad writing, the byline says “Interesting discoveries as orkut mercury rises across India” (barf!).
We on the other hand are displaying only the data that matters (for what it’s worth), not Google’s half assed observations, childish inferences and heavy handed marketing push

Here’s how the “First ever Orkut Zeitgeist measures the pulse of Indians online

Methodology: “A community is the ultimate hangout for those on Orkut with a specific interest. People meet, discuss, share and learn from others on these communities. And these communities are what we looked at to compile the Orkut Zeitgeist. We looked at millions of communities and usage trends to finally arrive at the ten most popular communities. The trends are based on an anonymised and aggregated study of the behaviour of Indian users over the past seven days. The analysis was repeated over several seven day periods, to confirm the accuracy of results and to rule out episodic variations. We scoured through lists on a national level and then dug deeper into city trends”

Orkut Zeitgeist Results

Top National Communities List:

  • “StYlIsH PeOpLe”
  • “India”
  • “Chocolate”
  • “MTV & still more MTV!”
  • “TCS 2009 Batch……….!!!!!!”
  • “Tom and Jerry – Cartoon”
  • “Boys VS Girls (Who Is d Best?)”
  • “India Stock Market (BSE NSE)”
  • “Tamil Cinema”
  • “I hate to wake up early”
  • “Friends”.

A peep into regional trends:
India is a vast nation and trends vary from city to city. Given below are highlights of the top-most communities in various cities across India

– “Stylish People” – The fashion hub of the country also boasts of style online
– “Chocolate” – The national capital is also the sweet centre of India

– Only “Marathi girls rock” for Mumbai
– “India” and “Marathi” – Mumbai defines the spirit of unity in diversity

– “India” “vokkaliga gowdas” and “Naruto” are amongst the top three
– With Bengalis, Malayalees, and Kanndaigas, Tamilians- Bangalore is the ‘true blue metropolis’- atleast online

-“Muktapeeth” – Responsibility drives the Pune youth, citizen journalism comes calling
– “Marathi girls rock” – Marathi girls find fan following yet again

-“Powerstar Pawan Kalyan” and “Telugu Movie World” – Its Tollywood all the way for Hyderabad

– “Proud to be Bengali” and “Orkut’s Most Koolest Bengalis” – Ami Bengal ke bhalo bhaasi, Kolkata defines the love for Bengal

– With “StYlIsH PeOpLe”and “MTV & still more MTV!” – Fashion ka hai yeh jalwa
– “Chandigarh Geri Route Sec 11”- the world revolves around this hang-out!

Here are some more trends:

  • Photo uploads are the new ‘scraps’: while millions of scraps are exchanged everyday, photo uploads have increased many fold (translation: people have stopped ‘scrapping’ and have now started to upload photographs)
  • Rahul and Neha are the most popular names on orkut (how is this a trend? Stupid parents!! stop naming your kids Rahul or Neha)
  • Women and Men meet half way for ‘chats’. Women care more for Horoscopes (halfway to where? the bedroom?)
  • Marketers are using a combination of communities, ads and apps to keep their audiences engaged. Film “Love Aajkal” drives over 200 communities and 100000 users (hey marketers dont forget us..orkut matters a lot! let us say that again orkut matters a lot!!!)
  • Orkut is accessed from everywhere: more and more users logging from their mobiles. (what do you mean by “everywhere”? the loo?)