Orkut has recently revamped its entire “look n feel” to be more competitive with its nemesis, Facebook. Definitely, Orkut has introduced some pretty neat features and a slick interface which resembles closely to facebook, but on its way Orkut also spared out some of the good features which old version had. Below is my take on the “revised Orkut”:
- Slide show Feature – New orkut introduced a new feature to view photo albums i.e. photo slide show. If you open an album, and click on any photo, on the right-hand corner you will see slide show icon clicking on which you will see your photos in full-screen slide show format.
- Simplified Photo Upload – Photo upload in the New Orkut is definitely a vast improvement over the clumsy upload feature in older version. The interface is much more visually appealing, direct and easy. Photo upload is fast and you can even rotate the photos then and there itself!
- Comment On Videos and Status – In the new orkut, you can not only comment on your friend’s photos but also on his videos and status. These comments are visible as updates to the owner and his friends (or everyone depending on setting). It would have been even more appealing to post those comments on the video directly to the original YouTube video linking together both applications, but we will have to wait for that for now.
- Easy Scraps – Scrapping has become even more easy as a new formatting toolbar has been added above the scrap area, which allows you to enrich the scrap by changing text color, adding emoticons and videos to the scrap with just few clicks, thus, eliminating need to remember orkut codes for formatting!
- Rich Interface– New Orkut features a simple and easy to use interface, providing mostly used options in single place i.e. your home page so that you can do more from single page. Also, active use of AJAX technology makes new orkut a feel good experience, although for new users it may look confusing at first and will take some time to adapt. In addition, new interface provides a way to color your orkut homepage with variety of colors as per your choice.
Now that we have seen what new features have been added to the new orkut, let’s review what is missing:
- No Face Detection and Photo Tagging – Older version of orkut provides a unique feature, called face detection in photos, allowing you to add name to the face detected. Also, there was a feature to “tag a friend” which I couldn’t find in the new version.
- Missing Regional Language Support In Scraps – Older version of orkut provides a way to translate your scrap into variety of regional indian languages – Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam – which is missing in the new orkut.
- No Option To Control Number Of Scraps – New version of orkut shows 10 scraps by default and provides button “show more scraps” clicking which additional 10 scraps will be shown. But user is not given option to display number of scraps per page, which was present in the older version
- Photo Album Bug? – This is definitely a bug in the new orkut. In the photo album edit, if you edit anything (like photo caption, album name, description etc.) and close without saving (by clicking on Cancel button in the confirmation dialog) the changes are still saved :O
So, all in all, there is an improved interface but I am not sure why Orkut dropped some of the existing features from the new version. In addition, some of the links in the new orkut takes you back to the older version itself, like managing friends, complete profile edit, messages etc. So, it seems to me that the new orkut is just an old wine in the new “facebook-like” bottle. What do you say? 😉