UPDATE: Why Orkut?

In this article  Loren Baker attempts to explain why Brazilians love Orkut. A couple of reasons stuck out to me:

1. Brazilians with constant Internet access are on the upper echelon of “differencia social.” Although Brazilians are some of the most outgoing people, they are quite cautious when meeting others and inviting them into their circle of friends. By using a service like Orkut, users can prequalify the new friends they make by judging their ability to access the Internet, write and read correctly, and see which friends they share.

2. The fact that Orkut is now associated with Brazil has added flame to the popularity fire. This is a country which is quite proud of their culture, economic position in South America, and World Domination of Soccer (futbol). Now, they are proud to have Orkut as their own.

3. Yakut and pronunciation. Google is beginning to enjoy the same compatibility with the Portuguese language. Not to say Yahoo does not, and Hotmail certainly does, but the Google hip factor has made “goo-gly” a new part of the Brazilian Portuguese language and its association with Orkut is beginning to lead to Google and GMail converts.


This article implied, to me, that Brazilians were a bit on the snooty side. They like Orkut because it’s theirs or so they can judge other before connecting with them online – if they aren’t too good to connect with them in the first place. This may be all true, but I belive that Brazilians are drawn to Orkut due to the language features and the fact that it’s their own. Like Baker stated, Brazilians take pride in their culture and enjoy that Orkut belongs to them.

 Although Portuguese is the official language there are 234 languages catalogued in Brazil.  Orkut featuring fifteen helps Brazilians not only connect with the outside world, but with each other. I’m not suggesting that Orkut incorporate all 234 languages, but I do believe the site benefits from featuring the most commonly used languages in Brazil. This feature enables marketers to reach the Brazilian majority.

 Orkut allows advertisers to reach out to Brazilians in a way they prefer. Every culture or country has preferences on how they like to be communicated with. Orkut is tailored to suit Brazilian needs. Knowing that Brazilians desire to make up their own minds before engaging and favor Orkut, marketing campaigns should use this platform to promote their brands. Brazilians will appreciate their preferences being taken into consideration. This audience should not be viewed as intimidating. A brand should not have an issue penetrating Brazil if their product is good quality, they tailor messaging to suit Brazilians, and take into consideration Brazil’s culture and communication preference.


3 Responses to UPDATE: Why Orkut?

  1. sroneill says:

    Yes! I agree. “Orkut is tailored to suit Brazilian needs.” How wonderful that it features 15 languages on the site. Perhaps that is where Facebook in Brazil is lacking?

  2. You choose passages from Loren’s post to discuss well and though they lead you to a conclusion that I might not agree with, I can see why you went in that direction. If this is true and Brazilians do indeed feel ownership because they can “judge others before connecting with them online” – than what do you feel this might mean for a brand needing to market to Brazilians? On the language front, if the language component is a big factor in Orkut’s success, do you think the site should try to incorporate more of these 234 languages? You start your post out talking about the importance of nationalism to how popular Orkut has become – what about that as a component of marketing campaigns? As you can probably see from my many questions, I’m trying to lead you towards the point that more detail in this post beyond your two paragraphs is really what you need in order to justify and explain your points of view. If you’d like to add that detail to this post (as an update) – I can take another look and reassess your score this week. (2)

  3. Misha Hutchison says:

    The pronunciation point is interesting. It’s all in a name. Funny thing about point #1. Call me snooty, but I do the same thing. Not when choosing Facebook friends, but in choosing which friends I display in my news feed. If they don’t write well or if they use profanity, I will hide them from my page. But, it does not matter to me about who their other friends are. That’s a bit elitist.

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