First Orkut, now Koo? The Brazil story.

Sunil Rajguru
New Update

In 1974 economist Edmar Bacha dubbed Brazil a “Belindia”, because it was “a Belgium-sized island of prosperity in a sea of India-like poverty”. How things have changed since then! Both India and Brazil are part of BRICS.


They both had a GDP of about $200 million in 1983. We kept up with them but crashed after the 1991 financial crisis. Then both were in the region of $500 million in 2001-02. We always stayed behind but we overtook them in 2016 and since then have left them way behind.

But there is something else that the two countries used to share. A social networking site called Orkut. Created by Turkish Orkut Büyükkökten, a product manager with Google, it was a big hit in just two countries: India and Brazil. If Myspace was the initiation for many Americans into social media, for Indians it was Orkut.

It was a hip and happening site, full of controversies and tried to cater to multiple Indian languages and when it wished them Happy Diwali in 2007, it was a rage. Meanwhile the Indian social networking phenomenon Koo was launched in 2019 and also caters to multiple languages and claims a user base of 50 million, which is beyond Twitter India. According to reports, at the beginning of this month, there were only a few thousand users in Brazil.

But after the whole Elon Musk Twitter controversy, which has seen people leaving in droves and seeking out new options, Koo seems to have caught on in Brazil and is seeing a million plus users being gained in a very short time. So much so that Portuguese support has been added. Brazilian YouTubers came on to the platform and part of the appeal and controversy is that Koo sounds like the local slang that is for the behind.

But who would have thought? First Orkut and now Koo gaining popularity in both India and Brazil. With the FIFA World Cup underway in Qatar, this is the right time for the platform to take off if the Brazilians want to leave the American Twitter and find a new forum to discuss all these things.

twitter koo brazil