Even with 1.94 billion monthly active users on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg isn’t the father of Social Media. Orkut Büyükkökten is.
Today, Edgy Labs talks about the true father of Social Media, the man who created the biggest Social Media website before Facebook and two others prior to it: Orkut Büyükkökten.
Early life and Education
Orkut was born in Konya, Turkey but was raised in Germany. He obtained his degree in Computer Science from Bilkent University in Ankara.
He later went to Stanford after being accepted into both Stanford and Carnegie Mellon. Orkut claims he chose Stanford because California had great weather.
In the fall of 2001, while at Stanford, Orkut created his first social network called Club Nexus. Club Nexus launched 3 years before Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook at Harvard. Club Nexus was exclusive to only Stanford students and signed up a third of the student population within weeks of launch.
Orkut followed up the success of Club Nexus with the creation of inCircle for the Stanford Alumni Association. inCircle was Orkut’s inspiration for Orkut.com.Orkut Büyükkökten created the online Social Network before ZuckerbergClick To Tweet
The Birth of Orkut.com
While working for Google as a software engineer, Orkut took advantage of Google’s 20% time allocation for personal projects. During this time, he set about creating his third Social Media site.
Google chiefs convinced Orkut to name the project after himself as he already owned the domain “Orkut.com”.
Orkut became so successful that at a point, Orkut had as many pages as Google’s Search Results.
By 2008, Orkut was the most popular social media website in Brazil and India. In Brazil, people were literally buying computers and going to the internet cafes just to use Orkut.
Facebook recognized Orkut’s success in Brazil and amplified its efforts in Brazil as well.
In 2004, Orkut and Google were sued by Affinity Engines, a company he started for trade secret misappropriation. The lawsuit was settled in 2006.
Orkut grew to over 300 million users until it was shut down by Google in 2014.
Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
Three Social Media sites weren’t enough for Orkut Büyükkökten.
With a burning passion for connecting people, Orkut is back again with his fourth Social Network Hello.com. Launched in 2016, Hello.com’s mission is to connect people around content and their passion.