Orkut Updates their Communities Service

Orkut, that oft-forgotten social network owned and operated by Google, is still a huge deal in India and Brazil.  The network never caught on here, but the website has 66 million active users around the world, with 59% of its users in Brazil and 27% in India.  That’s a lot of social networking.  The social network recently revamped their communities features, and have added a few new features.

At some point soon, we’ll take a closer look at Orkut, and explain what the draw is — including why the current users aren’t just switching to Facebook — but for now we’ll take a look at their most recent updates: communities.

Communities is the ‘groups’ of Orkut, and it’s one of the most used features on the site.  People follow a community and are subscribed to the various threads or ‘topics’ available on the community.  There are groups for every entertainment phenomenon under the sun.  In November, Orkut revamped their communities to make it look a lot more appealing and simplified.  There are various widgets that house polls, forums and videos, or whatever you’d like to include.  As you can see in the image below, the network has a MySpace feel to it.  It feels like a transitional network between MySpace and Facebook at this point, to be honest.

Then just today, they posted on their blog about their newest feature, a “like” button on topics inside a community.  It’s an evolution of the standard like button, because you can choose one of 5 emoticons to represent how you feel about the particular post.  Interesting twist.  We’ll keep an eye on Orkut to let you know how the feature fares.