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YouTube comes to India in a desi avatar

08-May-2008
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YouTube comes to India in a desi avatar

YouTube, the world’s most popular online video community that allows people to discover, watch and share originally created content, on May 7 announced its launch in India. The Indian website, www.youtube.co.in, features a localised homepage and search functions, allowing users to create and share videos, discover the most popular and relevant videos in India, and connect with other Indian and global users.

Over time, YouTube India will benefit from an entirely local experience in highlighting and featuring the content and functionality most desired by the Indian users.

Speaking at the launch, Steve Chen, CTO and Co-Founder of YouTube, said, “For a culture that is steeped both in video and in storytelling, and where everyone has a voice, YouTube India will not only offer Indian users more relevant content, but also provide a platform to share India’s unique and diverse culture and lifestyle with the largest online video community in the world.”

With local features such as promoted videos, featured videos, and homepage promotions, localised user interface and help centre, user support and community features such as video ratings, sharing and content flagging, YouTube India will make it easier for the Indian YouTube community to search and view videos from India. Additionally, content uploaded by users in India would show up as top favourites and recommended content on the local YouTube site.

In India, YouTube has already signed partnerships with Eros Entertainment, Rajshri Films, IIFA, Ministry of Tourism, IIT Delhi, NDTV, UTV, Zoom TV, India TV and Krishcricket, to name a few, and would continue to work with a range of partners, across a range of genres to bring Indian content to more people in new ways.

YouTube allows anyone with a web camera or a cell phone to create content, connect, and converse with each other through the medium of video. However, the website had taken care to incorporate technology that made it very difficult for someone to copy and reload the same content, thus curbing piracy, informed Sakina Arsiwala, International Manager, YouTube. The website also announced, what she called, a zero tolerance policy towards security of its users online against objectionable content, including porn.

Founded in February 2005, YouTube is one of the key players in online video. It received funding from Sequoia Capital in November 2005 and was officially launched one month later in December 2005. Chad Hurley and Steve Chen proceeded to become the first members of the YouTube management team and currently serve as CEO and Chief Technology Officer, respectively.

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