After logging into Orkut recently, I came across this message on my Orkut home screen:
(Orkut) New! Now you can select the countries from which you want to accept friend requests and profile visits. Your profile country is set as your default preference. To add countries, visit privacy settings or change your home country in edit profile.
Users can simply visit orkut.com/PrivacySettings.aspx and scroll down towards "my network."
Once there, users can simply select all countries (to accept friend requests from everyone, as well as profile views) or add select countries to their list by hitting the "add country or region" button (which will open up a drop menu).
While I am unsure whether or not this feature will enable users to "hide" their profiles from most of the public, the feature will allow users to only accept friend requests from users of certain countries.
Speaking about countries, it looks as if Google is only allowing Orkut users to change their nation status (or where they live) once a month, which seems to be an unusual move by Google.
While Google may have valid reasons for doing this (whether its to help keep the servers humming or to ensure that the Orkut Demographics are accurate), this move may not be a good idea for users, especially if they live inside a hostile area that is not friendly towards freedom of speech.
This is the first time I have actually seen a social network do this, as Google's rivals (Facebook, MySpace, etc.) allow users to edit their status whenever they want.
I wonder how users will react towards this?