Orkut Launching New Features – Wants to Reflect ‘Real Life’ Relationships

Alright. Orkut is losing to Facebook in India and the social network is gearing up for the big bang launch of new features that *hopefully* creates a differentiation.

Starting today, Google will change the core function of orkut so we can share and interact with different groups of friends on the Internet just like we do in real life. Some of the notable features that are part of this big bang release are:

  • Scraps to multiple people
    Now you can send scraps to your friends straight from your homepage in orkut. And more: you can send the same scrap to many people at the same time or even to all your friends.
  • Privacy in groups
    You can choose the privacy level you want for your messages. For instance, you can send a private scrap to a group of four people and only those four people can see it and reply to it. If they reply, you guys will have a private, group conversation visible only to you and those four friends. If you prefer going public, just send a scrap visible to all your friends or even send a public scrap so everyone in orkut can see it. It’s your choice.
  • Groups of friends
    To make it easier for you to interact with your groups of friends, now you can open them from your homepage. Your groups will always be a click away from you, on the top of the page. When you click a group (for example, "college friends"), you’ll see updates, photos, videos and activities only from people who are part of that group. If you want to write them something, the scrap editor will automatically select everyone in the group and the privacy will be set to "Private" so you can share information that is relevant to that group only. And, of course, you can change that privacy setting before sending the message.
  • Groups formed automagically!
    You can create your groups of friends manually.Based on your interactions, orkut automatically suggests some groups of friends for you, and these suggested groups will be ready for you to use. Also, you can add your personal touch to your groups at anytime and make them any way you want.

Upcoming Features include

  • Improved Birthdays display
  • Improved Friend Suggestions
  • Better discovery of Games & Applications (from homepage) etc [source]

The new features are being rolled out in phased manner. Watch this intro video

So, What else should Google do to Save Orkut?.

Does any of the above feature sounds exciting enough for you to give Orkut another try?

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