My year helping India – and honoring a family legacy

GoogleServe is our annual company-wide volunteering campaign that takes place every June. In the spirit of celebrating our Googlers that dedicate time to volunteer, this month, we will feature inspiring stories from Googlers across the world as they share how they are helping their local communities. This week, we shine a spotlight on Suresh Vedula who has been volunteering for the last six months as a Google.org Fellow. 

Most Googlers are driven by a sense of purpose — it’s one of the things we have in common, no matter where we’re from or what role we hold. But where that drive comes from is unique to each of us. In my case, I always come back to the legacy of my grandfather.  


What I learned from my grandfather 

My father grew up in an agricultural town in India where many families own just one hectare (around two and a half acres) of land — barely enough to earn a living as a farmer. Year after year, I saw the tireless labor that my grandfather dedicated to his farm, and how factors like weather or pest infestation could wipe out entire seasons’ worth of crops and the income that was expected to come along with it. 

Like many farmers, he was community-spirited, always thinking of ways to help other farmers and the people around him. When he passed away, my father wanted to carry that spirit forward, so we donated the land from his farm to the government, which built a community school in his memory. I saw how it was possible for my dad to make a difference, and I believed I could make a difference, too.

A photo showing a bust of author Suresh Vedula’s grandfather outside the community school built on land his family used to own.

Bust statue of my grandfather outside the community school

The Google.org Fellowship

Traveling back to my grandfather’s village, I often thought about how technology might have helped solve some of the basic problems that he and other rural farmers faced every day. So I jumped at the chance  to put some of my ideas into action by joining the Google.org Fellowship program — a program that matches Google employees with organizations in need for up to six months of full-time pro bono work on technical projects. 


The nonprofit I helped support, Wadhwani AI, was developing an AI-based offline app to classify and count local pests— backed by a $2 million USD grant from Google.org through the Google AI Impact Challenge. The goal was to make pesticide use more efficient and improve yield for smallholder farmers in India. Wadhwani AI was the first organization in Asia Pacific to welcome a group of Google.org Fellows, and we worked across multiple teams to strengthen their AI model. We also helped them conduct research for users of their app, so farmers could get more accurate and timely information.
A gif showing how farmers see data within the pest management system app built by Wadhwani AI and volunteers from Google

Wadhwani’s AI-powered pest management system app

Resilience in the face of crisis

As the first waves of COVID-19 hit India, we moved all of Wadhwani’s work online. We conducted our research virtually and met with farmers over video calls. We listened and watched as they faced the pandemic with the same resilience and bravery they bring to every challenge that comes their way. One farmer explained how his crop had been destroyed, threatening his family’s entire livelihood, but was stoic enough to say, “I look forward to next season.”

A screenshot showing Suresh Vedula as he carries out an online interview with a farmer involved in the Wadhwani AI project

Conducting our interviews with the farmers online

The farmers were always thinking of one another. When they had a piece of information about a tactic that worked to save their crops they would share it right away. 

While my time as a Google.org Fellows has wrapped up, I will continue as a volunteer with the Wadhwani AI team in my personal time. Much like the example of my grandfather before them, the spirit I witnessed from the farmers will continue to motivate me to do more for the community in a small but meaningful way.

A Step Toward More Inclusive People Annotations in the Open Images Extended Dataset

In 2016, we introduced Open Images, a collaborative release of ~9 million images annotated with image labels spanning thousands of object categories and bounding box annotations for 600 classes. Since then, we have made several updates, including the release of crowdsourced data to the Open Images Extended collection to improve diversity of object annotations. While the labels provided with these datasets were expansive, they did not focus on sensitive attributes for people, which are critically important for many machine learning (ML) fairness tasks, such as fairness evaluations and bias mitigation. In fact, finding datasets that include thorough labeling of such sensitive attributes is difficult, particularly in the domain of computer vision.

Today, we introduce the More Inclusive Annotations for People (MIAP) dataset in the Open Images Extended collection. The collection contains more complete bounding box annotations for the person class hierarchy in 100k images containing people. Each annotation is also labeled with fairness-related attributes, including perceived gender presentation and perceived age range. With the increasing focus on reducing unfair bias as part of responsible AI research, we hope these annotations will encourage researchers already leveraging Open Images to incorporate fairness analysis in their research.

Examples of new boxes in MIAP. In each subfigure the magenta boxes are from the original Open Images dataset, while the yellow boxes are additional boxes added by the MIAP Dataset. Original photo credits — left: Boston Public Library; middle: jen robinson; right: Garin Fons; all used with permission under the CC- BY 2.0 license.

Annotations in Open Images
Each image in the original Open Images dataset contains image-level annotations that broadly describe the image and bounding boxes drawn around specific objects. To avoid drawing multiple boxes around the same object, less specific classes were temporarily pruned from the label candidate set, a process that we refer to as hierarchical de-duplication. For example, an image with labels animal, cat, and washing machine has bounding boxes annotated for cat and washing machine, but not for the redundant class animal.

The MIAP dataset addresses the five classes that are part of the person hierarchy in the original Open Images dataset: person, man, woman, boy, girl. The existence of these labels make the Open Images dataset uniquely valuable for research advancing responsible AI, allowing one to train a general person detector with access to gender- and age-range-specific labels for fairness analysis and bias mitigation.

However, we found that the combination of hierarchical de-duplication and societally imposed distinctions between woman/girl and man/boy introduced limitations in the original annotations. For example, if annotators were asked to draw boxes for the class girl, they would not draw a box around a boy in the image. They may or may not draw a box around a woman depending on their assessment of the age of the individual and their cultural understanding of the concept of girl. These decisions could be applied inconsistently between images, depending on the cultural background of the individual annotator, the appearance of an individual, and the context of the scene. Consequently, the bounding box annotations in some images were incomplete, with some people who appeared prominently not being annotated.

Annotations in MIAP
The new MIAP annotations are designed to address these limitations and fulfill the promise of Open Images as a dataset that will enable new advances in machine learning fairness research. Rather than asking annotators to draw boxes for the most specific class from the hierarchy (e.g., girl), we invert the procedure, always requesting bounding boxes for the gender- and age-agnostic person class. All person boxes are then separately associated with labels for perceived gender presentation (predominantly feminine, predominantly masculine, or unknown) and age presentation (young, middle, older, or unknown). We recognize that gender is not binary and that an individual's gender identity may not match their perceived or intended gender presentation and, in an effort to mitigate the effects of unconscious bias on the annotations, we reminded annotators that norms around gender expression vary across cultures and have changed over time.

This procedure adds a significant number of boxes that were previously missing.

Over the 100k images that include people, the number of person bounding boxes have increased from ~358k to ~454k. The number of bounding boxes per perceived gender presentation and perceived age presentation increased consistently. These new annotations provide more complete ground truth for training a person detector as well as more accurate subgroup labels for incorporating fairness into computer vision research.

Comparison of number of person bounding boxes between the original Open Images and the new MIAP dataset.

Intended Use
We include annotations for perceived age range and gender presentation for person bounding boxes because we believe these annotations are necessary to advance the ability to better understand and work to mitigate and eliminate unfair bias or disparate performance across protected subgroups within the field of image understanding. We note that the labels capture the gender and age range presentation as assessed by a third party based on visual cues alone, rather than an individual's self-identified gender or actual age. We do not support or condone building or deploying gender and/or age presentation classifiers trained from these annotations as we believe the risks associated with the use of these technologies outside fairness research outweigh any potential benefits.

Acknowledgements
The core team behind this work included Utsav Prabhu, Vittorio Ferrari, and Caroline Pantofaru. We would also like to thank Alex Hanna, Reena Jana, Alina Kuznetsova, Matteo Malloci, Stefano Pellegrini, Jordi Pont-Tuset, and Mahima Pushkarna, for their contributions to the project.

Source: Google AI Blog


Deprecating Url Performance Report and Automatic Placements Performance Report in the AdWords API

Starting July 12, 2021, we will be deprecating Url Performance Report and Automatic Placements Performance Report in the AdWords API. The two reports will return empty results in the AdWords API after the deprecation.

To continue accessing these two reports, please migrate to Google Ads API and use the following views: For migrating reports to Google Ads API, refer to the report migration guide.

If you have any questions or need additional help, contact us via the forum.

Better TV is here

In February, we asked our TV customers in Huntsville, Alabama, to help us test an upgraded TV experience. We had over 50 households sign up as trusted testers, making the switch to a better TV experience with Chromecast with Google TV, the live streaming services of their choice, and upgraded home Wi-Fi with Google Wifi

Thanks to our testers, we’ve learned a lot about how to make this process easy for our customers. So today, we’re making this offer available to all existing Fiber TV customers in every Google Fiber city. 

Customers who are ready to get more out of their TV can chat with one of our customer service team members to upgrade to the best viewing experience the internet has to offer over the fastest internet available (yes, that’s Google Fiber). 

The best TV is already online. With Chromecast with Google TV, customers get all the features they’ve come to expect and more, including a voice remote control, 4K Ultra HD support, personal recommendations, and easy search across apps, with access to many different streaming services at a significantly lower cost than they currently pay for their Fiber TV service. 

Whether you are into movies, local or national news, live sports, or something more niche, there’s a place to watch it online. Google Fiber wants to help Fiber TV customers find their perfect TV experience with streaming TV, and we’re starting right now. 

Ready to switch? We’re ready to make it happen! And if you still want to learn a little more first, check out fiber.google.com/tv/upgrade.

Posted by Liz Hsu, Director of Product Strategy




~~~


name: Liz Hsu


title: Director of Product Stratey


category: product_news


categoryimage: true



chatbuttontext: true


Dev Channel Update for Desktop

 The Dev channel has been updated to 93.0.4542.2 for Windows,Linux and Mac.

A partial list of changes is available in the log. Interested in switching release channels? Find out how. If you find a new issue, please let us know by filing a bug. The community help forum is also a great place to reach out for help or learn about common issues.


Prudhvikumar Bommana

Google Chrome

6 new features on Android this summer

From keeping your account password safe to scheduling text messages to send at the right moment, we’re constantly rolling out new updates to the 3 billion active Android devices around the world. Today, we’re welcoming summer with six updates for your Android that focus on safety  — so you’re protected at every turn.


1. Android Earthquake Alerts System is rolling out globally

Earthquake alert screen that clicks through to an earthquake safety info screen

Last year, we embarked on a mission to build the world’s largest earthquake detection network, based on technology built into Android devices. With this free system, people in affected areas can get alerts seconds before an earthquake hits, giving you advance notice in case you need to seek safety. We recently launched the Android Earthquake Alerts System in New Zealand and Greece. Today, we’re introducing the Android Earthquake Alerts System in Turkey, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

We are prioritizing launching Earthquake Alerts in countries with higher earthquake risks, and hope to launch in more and more countries over the coming year.


2. Star what’s important with the Messages app

With tons of messages from family, friends, colleagues and others, it’s easy for information to get lost. Now, you can star a message on your Messages app to keep track of what’s important, and easily find it later without scrolling through all of your conversations. Just tap and hold your message, then star it. And when you want to revisit a message, like your friend’s address or the photo from your family reunion, tap on the starred category. 


Starred messages will start to roll out more broadly over the coming weeks.


3. Find the perfect Emoji Kitchen sticker at the perfect time

After typing a message, relevant emoji mixes are proactively displayed at the top of the keyword

In May, we introduced a new section in your recently used Emoji Kitchen stickers so you can quickly get back to the ones you use most frequently. Soon you’ll also start to see contextual suggestions in Emoji Kitchen once you’ve typed a message. These will help you discover the perfect emoji combination at the exact moment you need it.


Contextual Emoji Kitchen suggestions are available in Gboard beta today and are coming to all Gboard users this summer for messages written in English, Spanish and Portuguese on devices running Android 6.0 and above.


4. Access more of your favorite apps with just your voice

Ask Google to open or search many of your favorite apps using just your voice — you can say things like,  “Hey Google, pay my Capital One bill” to jump right into the app and complete the task or “Hey Google, check my miles on Strava” to quickly see your weekly progress right on the lock screen. See what else you can do by saying “Hey Google, shortcuts.” 


5. Improved Password Input and gaze detection on Voice Access

A gaze detection icon on a screen changes from crossed out to active when a character turns its head towards the device to speak the "scroll down" command in Voice Access

Built with and for people with motor disabilities, and helpful for those without, Voice Access gives you quick and efficient phone and app navigation with just your voice.


With gaze detection, now in beta, you can ask Voice Access to work only when you are looking at the screen — so you can naturally move between talking to friends and using your phone. 


Voice Access now has enhanced password input. When it recognizes a password field, it will let you input letters, numbers and symbols. For example, you can say “capital P a s s w o r d” or names of symbols (like “dollar sign” to input a $), so it’s faster to safely enter your password.


6. More customization and new app experiences on Android Auto

After a user taps on the Messages app icon and + New, Google Assistant is activated to help send a new message from the launcher screen

You can now customize more of your Android Auto experience for easier use, like personalizing your launcher screen directly from your phone and manually setting dark mode. It’s also easier to browse content with new tabs in your media apps, a “back to top” option and an A to Z button in the scroll bar. And, if it’s your first time using Android Auto, you can now get started faster in your car with a few simple taps.


We’ve also added new app experiences to help enhance your drive. EV charging, parking and navigation apps are now available to use in Android Auto. Plus, we’ve improved the messaging experience, so you can access your favorite messaging apps  from the launcher screen. You can easily read and send new messages directly from apps like WhatsApp or Messages — now available globally. 


These Android Auto features are available on phones running Android 6.0 or above, and when connected to your compatible car.

How Much Testing is Enough?

By George Pirocanac



A familiar question every software developer and team grapples with is, “How much testing is enough to qualify a software release?” A lot depends on the type of software, its purpose, and its target audience. One would expect a far more rigorous approach to testing commercial search engne than a simple smartphone flashlight application. Yet no matter what the application, the question of how much testing is sufficient can be hard to answer in definitive terms. A better approach is to provide considerations or rules of thumb that can be used to define a qualification process and testing strategy best suited for the case at hand. The following tips provide a helpful rubric:


  • Document your process or strategy.
  • Have a solid base of unit tests.
  • Don’t skimp on integration testing.
  • Perform end-to-end testing for Critical User Journeys.
  • Understand and implement the other tiers of testing.
  • Understand your coverage of code and functionality.
  • Use feedback from the field to improve your process.

Document your process or strategy


If you are already testing your product, document the entire process. This is essential for being able to both repeat the test for a later release and to analyze it for further improvement. If this is your first release, it’s a good idea to have a written test plan or strategy. In fact, having a written test plan or strategy is something that should accompany any product design.


Have a solid base of unit tests



A great place to start is writing unit tests that accompany the code. Unit tests test the code as it is written at the functional unit level. Dependencies on external services are either mocked or faked. 

A mock has the same interface as the production dependency, but only checks that the object is used according to set expectations and/or returns test-controlled values, rather than having a full implementation of its normal functionality.

A fake, on the other hand, is a shallow implementation of the dependency but should ideally have no dependencies of it’s own. Fakes provide a wider range of functionality than mocks and should be maintained by the team providing the production version of the dependency. That way, as the dependency evolves so does the fake and the unit-test writer can be confident that the fake mirrors the functionality of the production dependency.

At many companies, including Google, there are best practices of requiring any code change to have corresponding unit test cases that pass. As the code base expands, having a body of such tests that is executed before code is submitted is an important part of catching bugs before they creep into the code base. This saves time later both in writing integration tests, debugging, and verifying fixes to existing code.


Don’t skimp on integration testing



As the codebase grows and reaches a point where numbers of functional units are available to test as a group, it’s time to have a solid base of integration tests. An integration test takes a small group of units, often only two units, and tests their behavior as a whole, verifying that they coherently work together.

Often developers think that integration tests can be deprioritized or even skipped in favor of full end-to-end tests. After all, the latter really tests the product as the user would exercise it. Yet, having a comprehensive set of integration tests is just as important as having a solid unit-test base (see the earlier Google Blog article, Fixing a test hourglass).

The reason lies in the fact that integration tests have less dependencies than full end-to-end tests. As a result, integration tests, with smaller environments to bring up, will be faster and more reliable than the full end-to-end tests with their full set of dependencies (see the earlier Google Blog article, Test Flakiness - One of the Main Challenges of Automated Testing).


Perform end-to-end testing for Critical User Journeys



The discussion thus far covers testing the product at its component level, first as individual components (unit-testing), then as groups of components and dependencies (integration testing). Now it’s time to test the product end to end as a user would use it. This is quite important because it’s not just independent features that should be tested but entire workflows incorporating a variety of features. At Google these workflows - the combination of a critical goal and the journey of tasks a user undertakes to achieve that goal - are called Critical User Journeys (CUJs). Understanding CUJs, documenting them, and then verifying them using end-to-end testing (hopefully in an automated fashion) completes the Testing Pyramid.


Understand and implement the other tiers of testing



Unit, integration, and end-to-end testing address the functional level of your product. It is important to understand the other tiers of testing, including:

  • Performance testing - Measuring the latency or throughput of your application or service.
  • Load and scalability testing - Testing your application or service under higher and higher load.
  • Fault-tolerance testing - Testing your application’s behavior as different dependencies either fail or go down entirely.
  • Security testing - Testing for known vulnerabilities in your service or application.
  • Accessibility testing - Making sure the product is accessible and usable for everyone, including people with a wide range of disabilities.
  • Localization testing - Making sure the product can be used in a particular language or region.
  • Globalization testing - Making sure the product can be used by people all over the world.
  • Privacy testing - Assessing and mitigating privacy risks in the product.
  • Usability testing - Testing for user friendliness.

Again, it is important to have these testing processes occur as early as possible in your review cycle. Smaller performance tests can detect regressions earlier and save debugging time during the end-to-end tests.


Understand your coverage of code and functionality



So far, the question of how much testing is enough, from a qualitative perspective, has been examined. Different types of tests were reviewed and the argument made that smaller and earlier is better than larger or later. Now the problem will be examined from a quantitative perspective, taking code coverage techniques into account.

Wikipedia has a great article on code coverage that outlines and discusses different types of coverage, including statement, edge, branch, and condition coverage. There are several open source tools available for measuring coverage for most of the popular programming languages such as Java, C++, Go and Python. A partial list is included in the table below:



Language Tool
Java JaCoCo
Java JCov
Java OpenClover
Python Coverage.py
C++ Bullseye
Go Built in coverage support (go -cover)
Table 1 - Open source coverage tools for different languages


Most of these tools provide a summary in percentage terms. For example, 80% code coverage means about 80% of the code is covered and about 20% of the code is uncovered. At the same time, It is important to understand that, just because you have coverage for a particular area of code, this code can still have bugs.


Another concept in coverage is called changelist coverage. Changelist coverage measures the coverage in changed or added lines. It is useful for teams that have accumulated technical debt and have low coverage in their entire codebase. These teams can institute a policy where an increase in their incremental coverage will lead to overall improvement.


So far the coverage discussion has centered around coverage of the code by tests (functions, lines, etc.). Another type of coverage is feature coverage or behavior coverage. For feature coverage, the emphasis is on identifying the committed features in a particular release and creating tests for their implementation. For behavior coverage, the emphasis is on identifying the CUJs and creating the appropriate tests to track them. Again, understanding your “uncovered” features and behaviors can be a useful metric in your understanding of the risks.



Use feedback from the field to improve your process



A very important part of understanding and improving your qualification process is the feedback received from the field once the software has been released. Having a process that tracks outages and bugs and other issues, in the form of action items to improve qualification, is critical for minimizing the risks of regressions in subsequent releases. Moreover, the action items should be such that they (1) emphasize filling the testing gap as early as possible in the qualification process and (2) address strategic issues such as the lack of testing of a particular type such as load or fault tolerance testing. And again, this is why it is important to document your qualification process so that you can reevaluate it in light of the data you obtain from the field.


Summary



Creating a comprehensive qualification process and testing strategy to answer the question “How much testing is enough?” can be a complex task. Hopefully the tips given here can help you with this. In summary:

  • Document your process or strategy.
  • Have a solid base of unit tests.
  • Don’t skimp on integration testing.
  • Perform end-to-end testing for Critical User Journeys.
  • Understand and implement the other tiers of testing.
  • Understand your coverage of code and functionality.
  • Use feedback from the field to improve your process.


References

Call Ads Replace Call Only Ads in the Google Ads API

In the Google Ads API v8, Call Only Ads are replaced by Call Ads. You can still create Call Only Ads in the AdWords API v201809 and the Google Ads API v6 and v7, but we encourage you to use v8 to create new Call Ads.

Call Only Ads will continue to serve until the AdWords API Sunset on 27 April 2022.

Prior to v8, Call Only Ads only offered users the ability to call. Users and advertisers have said they want the ability to go directly to the website from these ads. The addition of the final URL in Call Ads enables advertisers to use calls as the primary (i.e. headline) action, while still providing users with a means to visit an advertiser’s website prior to or instead of calling.

What you need to do
  • Use the ad type CallAd instead of CallOnlyAd to create new Call Ads.
  • Filter on ad.type = 'CALL_AD' to retrieve information for existing ads regardless of what ad.type was used to create the ad. For example, using the Google Ads API to query

    SELECT ad_group_ad.ad.call_ad.country_code,
    ad_group_ad.ad.call_ad.phone_number
    FROM ad_group_ad
    WHERE ad_group_ad.ad.type = 'CALL_AD'
    will return ads created as CALL_ONLY_AD and CALL_AD.
What has changed
Fields added
ad_group_ad.ad.final_urls This is where you specify the URL of your website.
path1 First part of text that may appear appended to the url displayed in the ad.
path2 Second part of text that may appear appended to the url displayed in the ad. This field can only be set when path1 is set.
Field removed
ad.display_url We removed the display_url for Call Only Ads.
The URL that will be displayed alongside your
ad will now be based on ad_group.ad.final_urls
if provided, or phone_number_verification_url
if ad_group.ad.final_urls is blank, as well
any additional text you specify in path1 and path2.
Field verification
phone_number_verification_url This field is now required if ad_group.ad.final_urls is empty.

AdWords API Reporting: There is no change in the AdWords API.

Google Ads API Reporting: In the Google Ads API you can include these new fields in your queries
Where to get help
If you have questions about Call Ads, please reach out to us on the forum or at [email protected].

All I Want: The stories behind Portuguese female artists

What’s the place of female artists? How much of their art is known, spoken or internationally recognized? There is still a long way to go to achieve gender equality, but making sure we open space to talk about the ones who already broke barriers is definitely the first step. "All I Want: Portuguese women artists from 1900 to 2020" is a feminist exhibit and a space of dialogue and affirmation. Even more, it is a collection to show the historical and artistic relevance of Portuguese female artists -- and certainly an exhibit that we want everyone to have access to, even amid travel restrictions. That’s why we’re excited to have partnered with Google Arts & Culture to bring this exhibit to the world.

More than 240 artworks by 40 Portuguese artists, from 1900 to 2020, come together in a large exhibit that we are making available to an international audience thanks to technology. Artists like Aurélia de Sousa, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Rosa Ramalho or Sarah Affonso gain life through 14 different stories transposing the physical exhibit and 40 stories telling the biographies of each selected artist. 

All I Want questions where women are in art today, and reinforces the need to celebrate women artists from history. The exhibit highlights artists that deserve recognition, putting forgotten women back in the frame and exploring concepts, styles, colors, feminism and how the artists reflect their individuality. 

The stories are divided into topics that will take people through a journey that spans from understanding generations to considering the place of women in art history, as well as discussions about the body and literary production. The curators, Helena de Freitas and Bruno Marchand, worked to make sure this exhibit would not only fill a gap in the art world, but also explain why this disparity started in the first place.


All I Want is an initiative of the Ministry of Culture, in partnership with Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, presented on the occasion of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2021. After its period in Portugal, the physical exhibit will travel to France, but on Google Arts & Culture this project will be preserved and able to reach every corner. In my ideal world, every female artist would have  recognition and space for their art. For now, I am happy we are starting with these exceptional Portuguese women artists and I hope this inspires other institutions in the world.

YouTube Canada’s Creative Ecosystem Turns Opportunity Into Impact

At its core, YouTube is built around connection and community. In a year of great change, we saw Canadians come to the platform to tell their stories, grow their businesses, explore new interests, keep learning, or simply for a laugh. 

After a year where our online lives were front and centre like never before, we turned to Oxford Economics to independently quantify YouTube’s contributions to Canada. The result is YouTube - From Opportunity to Impact, a report that examines the economic, societal and cultural benefits of YouTube in Canada throughout 2020, based on direct feedback from our creator community and users. 

The report confirms that YouTube continues to be a place where Canadians go to understand our world, tell their stories and connect with others. And the COVID-19 pandemic further emphasized the importance of the platform as a source of information for Canadians. The report shows that nearly three quarters (74%) of YouTube users agree that the platform has been helpful to them since the start of the pandemic. In addition to being a reliable source of information, 58% of users agree that YouTube has had a positive impact on their mental health or physical wellbeing. 
Let’s dive into some of the highlights of the YouTube - From Opportunity to Impact report, starting with how the platform has contributed to the Canadian economy. 


Growing the Canadian creator economy 
YouTube’s open platform has enabled creators to both contribute to the Canadian cultural landscape and build economic opportunity for themselves and their communities. These creative entrepreneurs are finding success on their own terms and building thriving businesses that span all types of genres and topics. 

Simply put, the YouTube creator economy has a real and positive impact on the wider Canadian economy. The report estimates that in 2020, YouTube’s creative ecosystem contributed approximately $923 million to Canada’s GDP. In that same period YouTube supported the equivalent of 34,100 full-time employment jobs across Canada. 

To dive even deeper into this impact, we took a look at our own platform data and found that Canadian YouTube channels making six figures in revenue (CAD) increased 30% year over year. These creative small businesses continue to flourish and find audiences at home and abroad. As of December 2020, more than 450 Canadian channels had over 1 million subscribers, and 3,500 channels had over 100,000 subscribers. These continually growing subscriber counts and revenue figures are strong indicators of the overall health of the Canadian creator economy, which draws on advertiser revenue, channel subscriptions, merchandise sales and additional revenue streams from an engaged global audience. 
 

Protecting the openness of YouTube 
For more than 16 years, Canadian creators have embraced YouTube. They have built businesses, connected communities, told important Canadian stories and are impactfully contributing to the Canadian economy. 

On a competitive, global stage, Canadian creators are some of the most successful and diverse on the platform. It’s no surprise to us that they do well both at home and abroad - in fact over 90% of watch time for Canadian content creators comes from outside Canada. 

Creators in the YouTube Partner Program receive a majority share of any advertising revenue generated around their content, which means that with their huge global viewership, creators can generate significant revenue from around the world. 

For independent creators in Canada, this access to a global audience and revenue matters. 79% of Canadian creators agreed that access to an audience outside of Canada is essential for their channel to be sustainable. YouTube’s openness is what has made all of this possible and protecting it is our number one priority



YouTube gives everyone a voice 
One of the things we love most about YouTube is its ability to break down barriers, and we don’t just mean geographic ones - YouTube enables creators to share their opinions, talents and experiences with the world, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, income, or language. The openness of the platform has allowed creators like Deddy and Sasha Ruddock (Deddy’s Kitchen) from Brampton, and Leah Wei (Leah’s Fieldnotes) and Gabrielle Marion from Québec, to create space for themselves and other diverse voices. A large majority of Canadian users (78%) agree that the platform is home to diverse content


YouTube has become the launchpad for those who don’t fit the traditional mold of the Canadian mainstream media. Artists like The Weeknd and Shawn Mendes are just two of the household names who started on YouTube and went on to conquer the world. But perhaps no one embodies the YouTube journey more than Lilly Singh, one of the many Canadians from traditionally underrepresented groups who used YouTube to build a career on screen and went on to become the country’s biggest digital star. And that pipeline to success continues, with rising talents like Faouzia, Jonathan Roy and Mustafa



The report also showed us how YouTube is a catalyst for industry growth; more than three quarters of music, media and entertainment companies with a YouTube channel agree that the platform helps grow the overall market for media content, and two thirds of that same group agree that YouTube is essential for breaking undiscovered artists

In a time where the visibility and amplification of diverse perspectives is more crucial than ever, we love to see that Canadian creators from all backgrounds are finding success on YouTube. 


Supporting businesses of all shapes and sizes
YouTube is also a place where any business, of any size, can connect with customers in Canada and around the world, unlocking tremendous new opportunities for growth. Take Morritson, Ontario-based Ryan Savin, a former electrician who decided to turn his passion for leatherworking into a full-time business. Within a few years through YouTube, Ryan was able to scale his hobby into the successful online shop called Little King Goods. Today Ryan’s community is over 350,000 subscribers strong and includes fellow leather enthusiasts and international customers. Thanks to the reach of the platform, Ryan was able to successfully scale his business, not only sustaining but growing his business through the pandemic. 

The majority (64%) of small and medium businesses (SMBs) with a YouTube channel consider the platform to be a strategic partner in their business operations. Over 70% say the platform has helped them grow their customer base and 79% of SMBs with a YouTube channel agreed their YouTube presence helped customers find them. 

During the pandemic, once again, YouTube was a space that Canadian business-owners leaned on, with over half of SMBs who use YouTube agreeing that the platform helped them sustain their business during COVID-19. 


Canadians continue to come to YouTube to learn 
Whether you come to the platform to follow a makeup tutorial by Cynthia Dulude or to prepare yourself for an important job interview with the help of Linda Reinier, YouTube is one of the quickest, easiest and most useful resources to find educational content - 86% of users say they use YouTube to gather information and knowledge


The helpfulness of this virtual learning tool was further amplified by the global pandemic. As students moved from the classrooms to virtual learning, 63% of teachers who use YouTube stated they integrate the platform’s content in their lessons. Meanwhile, our report found that 100% of students who use YouTube say they use the platform to help them with their assignments or personal study. The past year was tough on students, teachers and parents but we’re glad YouTube was part of the solution and made learning more accessible to Canadians. 


On behalf of everyone at YouTube Canada, we look forward to supporting Canadian creators as they continue to meaningfully impact the world by doing what they love. To view the full report and to discover more Canadian YouTube creators check out the full 2021 YouTube Impact Report