Google Sharpens Its Focus on India; Announces Multiple India-Inspired and India-First Products

Dated: September 29, 2016

Today, at the second edition of its signature Google for India event, Google announced five new products that are adapted for and aimed at expanding access to the Internet for users in India. This includes new products built for specifically for India — YouTube Go, the Google Assistant in Hindi inside messaging app Allo, faster browsing for Google Play on 2G connections — as well as new, global platforms inspired by the needs of Indian users — the Google Station Wi-Fi platform and new data-saving features in Google Chrome for mobile.

To begin with, there is now going to be a brand new video app, YouTube Go, designed and built from learnings in India. Another pathbreaking announcement was addition of Google assistant in Hindi to the recently launched Google Allo later this year. A Wi-Fi platform called Google Station inspired by success of Railwire Wi-Fi is also underway and also new data-saving features in Google Chrome for mobile.

During the announcement for You Tube Go — a new YouTube mobile app reimagined for the next generation of YouTube users — Johanna Wright, YouTube Vice-President for Product Management, shared, “YouTube Go is a brand new app to help the next generation of users share and enjoy videos. YouTube Go was designed and built from the ground up with insights from India, in order to bring the power of video to mobile users in a way that is more conscious of their data and connectivity, while still being locally relevant and social. YouTube Go not only allows users to save and watch videos smoothly even in poor connectivity, it also gives them transparency and control over how much data they consume on videos, allowing them to preview videos first and choose the video’s file size before they save it offline to watch later. They can also share videos easily with friends and family nearby, without using any data at all.”

Caesar Sengupta, Vice-President, Next Billion Users, outlined the three areas where Google is working to provide a better and more inclusive online experience for users in India: Access (connecting people to the Internet), Platforms (letting people and developers share through and build upon the Internet), and Products (providing better and more relevant Google experiences for Indians).

Defining the strategy he said, “Our goal has not just been to help more Indians get online — but also to help Indians create the online experience they want; one that serves their needs and enables them to have an impact on the entire world. So we have been thinking about how to build products and services for this wave of new users — products that work for any level of connectivity, in local Indian languages, and across the devices that are most frequently used in India.”

Present on the occasion and making the announcement in addition to Caesar Sengupta were John Giannandrea, Senior Vice-President, Engineering who looks after Search; Johanna Wright, Vice-President YouTube and Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, Vice-President Chrome. Rajan Anandan, Vice-President, South East Asia and India, opened the event with an update on Google India’s progress to date.

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