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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, Googles latest announcement further underlines how much the major tech platforms are expecting from the region.

Enligt 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 hälsa 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. 



Twitter utökar innehållsrekommendationer, visar användare fler tweets från profiler de inte följer


Twitter Expands Content Recommendations, Showing Users More Tweets from Profiles They Don’t Follow

Suddenly seeing a heap more random accounts appear in your Twitter feed?

This is why – today, Twitter ramped up its tweet recommendations for a heap more users.

So you’re going to see more tweets in your feed based on things like:

  • Interests based on tweet activity
  • Topics you follow
  • Tweets you’ve engaged with
  • Tweets people in your network like
  • People followed by people you follow

There’s a heap of expanded exposure potential here, and Twitter, in an effort to juice engagement, is looking to keep people in the app for as long as possible, which, ideally, these recommendations will facilitate.

It’s similar to how Facebook and Instagram are now showing you more AI-based content recommendations, which stems from TikTok, and its focus on highlighting the most relevant content to each user, which is not directly tied to your own social graph.

There was a time when your social graph was the defining factor, which gave Facebook a huge advantage, but now, there’s been a bigger shift towards entertainment over social interaction, which expands the potential to show each user more interesting content, from a much broader range of sources.

Conceptually it makes sense, but it’s largely reliant on the platform algorithms being actually good at showing you the best content, based on your interests. TikTok is very good at this, hooking into your expressed likes and dislikes based on your viewing history.

Twitter, however, not so much.

In my experience, Twitter’s recommended topics are always pretty far off, and even within those topics, the tweets it highlights tend to also be off-topic, uninteresting, and even just weird a lot of the time.

Right now, Twitter seems convinced that I’m interested in ‘AirBnB’, ‘skönhet Influencers’ and ‘Blink 182’. I’m not interested in any of these things, which I’ve tried to tell Twitter’s algorithms by selecting the ‘Not interested in this topic’ option – yet every time I re-open the app, they’re on my Explore page once again.

It could be worse – last month it was showing me ‘Peanuts’ comics, so I had Charlie Brown’s massive head staring back at me every time I tapped over to the Explore tab.

Again, I’ve directly told Twitter that I’m not interested, but it keeps showing them to me, while today, after this new announcement, this is what my feed currently looks like:

And they just keep coming – every time I scroll back to the top, another 20 tweets are in my feed, with 80% being recommendations.

Look, this is probably a short-term push, and maybe it helps people discover new users to follow, and helps Twitter boost engagement. But again, if you’re seeing a heap more recommendations, this is why.

Hopefully, the feedback will help Twitter refine its topic and content streams.  


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