Google Makes Change to Orkut as Facebook Wins in India

Facebook appears to have overtaken Google’s (GOOG) Orkut in India. At the same time, Google has rolled out new changes to beef up Orkut as it continues to work on a broader social-networking service.

In 2004, Google launched social-networking site Orkut, which didn’t take off in the U.S. but made strides in two large overseas markets, India and Brazil.

But in July, Facebook had nearly 21 million unique visitors in India, up 179 percent from last year, according to new data from comScore Inc. Orkut saw 16 percent growth in India during the same period, to nearly 20 million unique visitors in July, comScore (SCOR) said.

The shift in India is the latest comedown for Orkut. Globally, Orkut’s growth has been stagnant, rising one percent over the past year to 55 million unique visitors in July. That compares with a 55 percent gain for Facebook, which received 571 million unique visitors in July. During the same period, rival social networking site MySpace fell 21 percent to 98 million unique visitors in July, according to comScore.

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