India and Brazil are Orkut's biggest user bases
New Orkut avatar: 'faster, more fun'

Google has revamped its social networking site Orkut, adding video chat integrated with Google Talk, bulk uploading of photos, auto discovery of friends etc.

“Orkut is an integral part of Google’s larger social web strategy which allows users to interact, engage and collaborate. We are committed to evolve our offerings to ensure the best user experience on all our platforms”, says Vinay Goel -- Head of products, Google India.

According to Wikipedia, "Orkut is one of the most visited websites in India and Brazil.  As of May 2009, 49.83% of Orkut's users are from Brazil, followed by India with 17.51%."

Some details of the changes from the guys who made it happen( sourced from ):

Fewer pages, faster browsing: We've concentrated orkut's principal actions onto your homepage, making it a one-stop-shop for nearly everything that you'd like to do. Now you can chat, watch videos, and browse and search within your full friends and communities lists without ever having to open a new page. See a photo, video, or status message in your activity stream that you'd like to comment on? Just start typing away. After all, fewer pages and a GWT interface mean less time waiting for things to load and more time doing what really matters– hanging out with your friends!

A clean, simple interface: We've reorganized the most important activites on orkut so that they are easy to find and even easier to use. Look out for larger pictures, easier to access notifications, targeted friend suggestions, and key updates closer to the top of your homepage. Now you can even use your friends' profile pages to keep up with their most recent activities and leave them scraps.

Greater personalization: Make your orkut profile and homepage truly your own by choosing the color that best fits your style. Have a personality that's too unique to be captured by words? We've also made it possible for you to customize your "about me" section, adding video, OpenSocial applications and much more to your array of options. 

Oct 30 2009