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Google Invests $10 billion into Developing India’s Digital Ecosystem



If you wanted yet another reminder of the significance of India and its developing digital opportunities, Google’s latest announcement further underlines how much the major tech platforms are expecting from the region.

As per Google CEO Sundar Pichai:

“Today, I’m excited to announce the Google for India Digitization Fund. Through this effort, we will invest ₹75,000 crore, or approximately $10 billion, into India over the next 5-7 years. We’ll do this through a mix of equity investments, partnerships, and operational, infrastructure and ecosystem investments. This is a reflection of our confidence in the future of India and its digital economy.”

That is a massive investment, especially considering the sometimes conflicting relationship that tech platforms have had with the Indian Government.

The investment reflects the rising significance of India as a key focus for tech platforms. Back in April, Facebook invested $US5.7 billion in Indian internet provider Reliance Jio, giving it a new way into the Indian market. 

Facebook has been working to better integrate itself into the region for years, in order to establish its platform as the key facilitator in the new wave of Indian digital commerce. Indeed, while India is still in the development stages of digitization, it’s already the world’s second-largest smartphone market (after China), while the number of internet users in the nation is expected to top 850 million by 2022. For comparison, the US is expected to reach around 300 million internet users at the same stage. 

That stat alone demonstrates the significance of the opportunity in the region, and with lessons learned from the tech development of other nations, both Google and Facebook are keen to cement themselves as they key platform for the market.

And both have a significant stake – for Facebook, WhatsApp is the most used messaging app in the nation, while for Google, Android is by far the dominant mobile operating system.

Android OS in India

Which becomes significant, and more influential in the region? Likely, both can play their role, and with over $15 billion invested by both companies, they both clearly expect to see significant return on that investment some time in future.

For Google, it’s committed to improving connectivity and “empowering businesses as they continue or embark on their digital transformation”. 

“There’s no question we are facing a difficult moment today, in India and around the world. The dual challenges to our health and to our economies have forced us to rethink how we work and how we live. But times of challenge can lead to incredible moments of innovation. Our goal is to ensure India not only benefits from the next wave of innovation, but leads it.”

Indeed, amid regional instability and the ongoing impacts of the current pandemic, the Indian tech landscape is headed into a new period of opportunity, as more businesses look to shift online and cater to increased audience demand for new services. 

That could make 2020 a key inflection point for the future of the region, and with both Facebook and Google looking to play a larger role, that could open up a range of new opportunities, for all businesses, in reaching potentially massive new audiences.   

There’s much more to come, and the recent ban on Chinese apps in the nation will likely rattle foreign investors. But the scope of opportunity here is huge. 

If you’ve not paid much attention to the Indian market in the past, you may soon find yourself learning a lot more about this fast rising audience.



YouTube Tests Improved Comment Removal Notifications, Updated Video Performance and Hashtag Insights



YouTube Expands its 'Pre-Publish Checks' Tool to the Mobile App

YouTube’s looking to provide more context on content removals and violations, while it’s also experimenting with a new form of analytics on average video performance benchmarks, along with improved hashtag discovery, which could impact your planning and process.

First off, on policy violations – YouTube’s looking to provide more context on comment removals via an updated system that will link users through to the exact policy that they’ve violated when a comment is removed.

As explained by YouTube’s Conor Kavanagh:

“Many users have told us that they would like to know if and when their comment has been removed for violating one of our Community Guidelines. Additionally, we want to protect creators from a single user’s ability to negatively impact the community via comments, either on a single channel or multiple channels.”

The new comment removal notification aims to address this, by providing more context as to when a comment has been removed for violating the platform’s Community Guidelines.

In expansion of this, YouTube will also put some users into timeout if they keep breaking the rules. Literally:

If someone leaves multiple abusive comments, they may receive a temporary timeout which will block the ability to comment for up to 24 hours.”


YouTube says that this will hopefully reduce the amount of abusive comments across the platform, while also adding more transparency to the process, in order to help people understand how they’ve broken the rules, which could also help to guide future behavior.

On a similar note, YouTube’s also expanding its test of timestamps in Community Guidelines policy violation notifications for publishers, which provide more specific details on when a violation has occurred in video clips.

Initially only available for violations of its ‘Harmful and Dangerous’ policy, YouTube’s now expanding these notifiers to violations related to ‘Child Safety’, ‘Suicide and Self-Harm’, and ‘Violent or Graphic’.

If you’re in the experiment, you’ll see these timestamps in YouTube Studio as well as over email if we believe a violation has occurred. We hope these timestamps are useful in understanding why your video violated our policies and we hope to expand to more policies over time.”

On another front, YouTube’s also testing a new analytics card in YouTube Studio which will show creators the typical amount of views they get on different formats, including VODs, Shorts, and live streams.

YouTube average video performance

As you can see in this example, the new data card will provide insight into the average amount of views you see in each format, based on your the last 10 uploads in each, which could provide more comparative context on performance.

Finally, YouTube’s also launched a test that aims to showcase more relevant hashtags on video clips.

“We’re launching an experiment to elevate the hashtags on a video’s watch page that we’ve found viewers are interested in, instead of just the first few added to the video’s description. Hashtags are still chosen by creators themselves – nothing is changing there – the goal of the experiment is simply to drive more engagement with hashtags while connecting viewers with content they will likely enjoy.”

So YouTube will be looking to highlight more relevant hashtags in video clips, as a means to better connect users to more video clips on the same topic.


Which could put more emphasis on hashtag use – so it could be time to upgrade your hashtag research approach in line with the latest trending topics.

All of these updates are fairly minor, but they could impact your YouTube approach, and it’s worth considering the potential impacts in your process.

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