Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced on Monday, June 30th, that it was closing its 10-year-old social network Orkut effective September 30th of this year. It should be noted that after the September 30th shutdown of the site, Orkut users will no  longer be able to log in or export their photo albums to Google+.

Google Orkut

In one piece of good news for Orkut fans, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s statement did mention that it plans to preserve all of the site’s public communities in an archive. Users who aren’t interested can choose to opt-out from the archive by decoupling Orkut from their Google account.

Orkut emerged from Google’s 20 percent initiative

The social networking site Orkut emerged in 2004 from Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s 20 percent initiative, a plan that allowed employees to use one fifth of their working hours on side projects of personal interest. However, given that Orkut had long since been supplanted by Google+, a much more ambitious networking platform that connects with many of Google’s other products, analysts note that the shutting down of Orkut is not really that surprising.

Statement from Google

“It’s been a great 10 years, and we apologize to those still actively using the service,”  Paulo Golgher, an engineering director at Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) said in the statement released this morning. “We hope people will find other online communities to spark more conversations and build even more connections for the next decade and beyond.”

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) statement said the firm will be focusing its efforts on YouTube, Blogger and Google+ in the future. Google Chief Exec Larry Page insisted the Google+ is still “growing tremendously” at the company’s recent I/O conference. The multi-function social networking platform has been updated with a new photo editor, Auto-Awesome Effects and photo albums called Google+ Stories over the last couple of months.