Orkut Launches for iPhone — Will It Encourage Growth?

Orkut has been sitting on the sidelines ever since Google Plus showed up on the product roadmap at Google, and it looks like it’s going to stay that way.  With Google+ up to a reported 40 million monthly active users, it’s only the start for the emerging social network.  That said, Orkut is still pushing forward, with strength in India and Brazil and 66 million active users as of October 2011.  The question is whether Google is doing anything to help these two products get along or not — and whether they’re taking opportunities to synergize (yes, I used that word).

Judging by the looks of the recent release of the Orkut app for iPhone, it looks like these two products are going to stay on their own tracks, at least for now.

The app, which can be grabbed on the iTunes Store, was announced on the Orkut Blog and gives you access to view your friends’ profiles and updates and photos, as well as directly uploading photos to your Orkut albums.  The layout seems a bit reminiscent of the first version of the Google+ Android App, with large pastel icons representing each possible action or chat.

If you read the blog further you’ll see that the team has been actively updating the service, which leads me to believe that for the near future, those millions of Indian and Brazilian Orkut users are not going to be grandfathered into Google+ in any way.  That said, Google typically takes the passive-aggressive approach, and we may see large banner ads promoting Google+ on the network at some point in the future.  It doesn’t seem likely that G+ won’t try to take this opportunity to centralize it’s social userbase.