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The website was named after its creator, Google employee Orkut Büyükkökten.Orkut was one of the most visited websites in India and Brazil in 2008.

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The themes were eventually removed and an Orkut badge was visible for those who didn't changed to the new Orkut.

The new logo also had the word "My" in it, as in My Orkut.

Orkut Büyükkökten, a Turkish software engineer, developed it as an independent project while working at Google.

While previously working for Affinity Engines, he had developed a similar system, In Circle, intended for use by university alumni groups.

An Orkut user was also able to add videos to their profile from either You Tube or Google Video with the additional option of creating either restricted or unrestricted polls for polling a community of users.

There was at one point an option to integrate GTalk with Orkut, enabling chat and file sharing.

Orkut's competitors were other social networking sites including Myspace and Facebook.

Ning was a more direct competitor, as it allowed for the creation of social networks similar to Orkut's "communities".

Unlike Facebook, where one can only view profile details of people in their network, Orkut initially allowed anyone to visit everyone's profile, unless a potential visitor was on a person's "Ignore List" (this feature was eventually changed so that users could choose between showing their profile to all networks or specified ones).

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