Orkut is open to everyone(?) / by Nate Westheimer

I was under the impression that Orkut, the Google-owned and popular-only-in-Brazil online social network, was still invite only. Picture 1-3At least I thought that until tonight. Logged into Google/Gmail, I went into the "more" menu at the top of my screen, looking for Google Blog Search. However, I saw, for the first time, Orkut featured in the list of Google Products presumably available to me. This veered me off my search and over to Orkut.

Sure enough, two clicks later I had my own Orkut account.

Anyway, here are my first impressions:

1. Another site to build a network on?! Damn, yo. 2. Nice, clean interface. Very Google. Easy to find my friends, which is nice since I have to all over again. Certainly better than Yahoo!'s latest attempt. 3. Where's the "Sandbox" I've heard about? I want to play with OpenSocial apps. 4. If this is truly open now, I expect a ton of my friends to be on here soon. 5. I effin love the GTalk integration. I expect the Google Phone to be integrated with this.

I think this is exciting and will most more thoughts later, after playing with the app a little more. But am I crazy here? Has this been open? Was I sleeping? Or did I just break a story? Who knows. It's late and time for bed :-)