Category Archives: Google India Blog

The Official Google Blog for India

Introducing an accelerator program for digital news startups, and support for more Indian languages in Google News Showcase

Access to trustworthy information is vital for all components of a thriving democracy. Through the years, we have kept up consistent efforts to help with continued access to quality journalism, contributing to the sustainability of news organizations, supporting emerging news business models and enabling newsrooms to engage their readers in new ways through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.


Today we’re building on this commitment with a new Google News Initiative (GNI) Startups Lab program for aspiring news entrepreneurs from all across India.



Google News Initiative (GNI) Startups Lab India - applications open 



Applications open today for GNI Startups Lab -- a four-month program that seeks to help independent local or single-subject journalism organizations find a pathway to financial and operational sustainability through intensive coaching, skills training and other support.


Created in partnership with the global innovation lab Echos and DIGIPUB News India Foundation, the GNI Startups Lab India program will support high-quality reporting for local and underserved communities. We welcome applications from news startups publishing in all Indian languages.


The 16-week program is tailored to the needs of startup newsrooms in India and participants will benefit from Echos' experience in supporting media startups and from DIGIPUB's network and community with workshops and coaching.


"Digipub is excited to partner with Google News Initiative Startups Lab to make the digital media ecosystem robust and sustainable. Digital news media is the future of news in India and collaborations like these will ensure that new entrants receive the support they deserve,"  Dhanya Rajendran, Chairperson of Digipub News India Foundation commented. 


Applications are open until 18 October 2021 and 10 independent digital news publishers will be selected to participate in the first cohort in India. To learn more and apply, click here



Supporting more Indian languages with Google News Showcase



In May, we announced the expansion of Google News Showcase, our online experience and licensing program to support news organizations and readers, to India. Today, we are pleased to add support for four new languages  - Kannada, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu -  in addition to English and Hindi in dedicated News Showcase panels in Google News and on Discover, to help more readers get access to quality news in their own languages. With the addition of these new languages and new partners today, we now have onboarded more than 50 partners representing more than 70 publications. 



We continue to work with publishers of all kinds -- from digital natives to regional media in India to help them to engage with readers and deliver trusted information across our platforms. 


We are delighted to partner with the Indian news industry and support new digital formats and innovations to build a sustainable, independent and diverse news ecosystem.


Posted by Kate Beddoe, Director of News Partnerships, Google Asia Pacific 


Empowering more women entrepreneurs in India

Despite the many strides in diversity and inclusion efforts in different industries in India and the world, we remain at some distance from true and proportionate representation of women in the workforce - be it in leadership, entrepreneurship or otherwise. 


This is a gap that we, at Google, are committed to closing through various efforts within Google and beyond, across all the communities we support. Our ongoing efforts to support women entrepreneurs are one of these.


2020 has brought back a sharp focus on health-tech and two founders selected from India for Women Founders Academy - Zealth-AI’s Monika Mehta and BrainSightAI’s Laina Emmanuel - are both tackling different challenges within healthcare. 


The Women Founders Academy, which is a twelve week program, offers the founders training to sharpen their leadership skills, build strong teams and address their unique growth needs. They will take part in workshops, connect with a community of Google advisors, venture capitalists and business executives and receive mentoring from dedicated subject matter experts. This year’s Women Founders come from 5 countries in Asia Pacific – India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea and Singapore. 


Getting to know the Indian women founders in the latest cohort:


In March 2019, Monika lost a close family member to an illness. The tragedy made her realize that our healthcare system relies heavily on patients being able to appreciate the severity of symptoms and taking swift action when necessary. Monika started Zealth-AI in July 2020 with the goal of creating a digital hospital-at-home solution that ensures timely interventions and better outcomes. 


In another part of the country, Laina’s BrainSightAI is building a neuroinformatics platform that uses technology to help answer questions about neuro-oncological and neuro-psychiatric disorders.


Laina says she has always been driven by complicated problems, conceptual thinking and like Monika, the dream of making a real impact. The work on operating system development and international health issues such as reducing maternal mortality has been a great way to combine Laina’s passions. She’s committed to continuing her hard work to make BrainSightAI a sustainable vehicle for change for more people. 


Along with Laina, Monika is inspired by the opportunity to connect with fellow women entrepreneurs and learning from a diverse pool of peers, mentors and experts through the Women Founders Academy program.


Posted by Team Google for Startups, India


Partnering with the financial ecosystem with Google Pay


In every geography where Google Pay is present, our stance is consistently one of partnering with the existing financial services and banking systems to help scale and enable frictionless delivery of financial products and services and contribute to the goal of financial inclusion. 


This vision has been consistent since our launch in India and several of our offerings are built on top of NPCI’s pioneering UPI payment network and infrastructure, which has grown over 190X in the last 4 years, to processing over INR 6 trillion in value today. 


At its core, Google Pay is a simple and secure mobile app for sending and receiving money, providing the functionality of a seamless payment experience, which is critical for consumers and merchants. Over the years, we have invested in efforts to bring the convenience of UPI to both online and offline merchants. 


Furthering that objective, in 2019, we had announced the launch of the Spot Platform on Google Pay, a surface for merchants of all types - offline or digital native, small or large, across use cases - to find payment-ready users. 


With more and more users embracing Google Pay in India, our Spot platform works as an additional discovery channel for many businesses to build and offer innovative new experiences to users to drive adoption of their services. The use cases span across ticket purchase, food ordering, paying for essential services like utility bills, shopping and getting access to various financial products. 


Today we have close to 400 merchant Spots on Google Pay, and in this journey, we have seen that financial product offerings perform especially well, with offerings from Spot experiences delivered by financial services players like CashE, Groww, 5paisa, Zest Money etc. seeing significant growth and engagement from users on Google Pay. This engagement underscores that payments platforms are a great surface to deliver financial services to users across the country. 


That being said, many of these Spot experiences especially in the financial products / service categories - be it insurance, wealth management, credit or other financial services - are regulated industries and each merchant is required to be duly authorised to provide those services before we onboard them on to the platform. As Google Pay, our role is firmly circumscribed to providing these merchants a surface where Google Pay users can discover and gain from these offerings - be it credit products, insurance or any others. 


There have been a few instances where these offerings have been reported as ‘Google Pay’s offerings’ which fuels misinterpretation. To be clear, we have always looked at our role firmly as a partner to the existing financial system that brings unique skill sets and offerings to drive further adoption of digital payments in the country.


The success of UPI and digital payments in India have opened many new opportunities for the financial services industry to partner deeply with fin-tech players in the country, and we are encouraged by the progressive and tech-positive approach of the regulators to drive greater financial inclusion. We are committed to play our role by using technology as a means to level social inequalities and contribute to this vision operating within the purview of India’s legal and regulatory frameworks.


Posted by Sajith Sivanandan, Business Head, Payments and NBU, Google APAC


Find detailed information on vaccination availability near you

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a priority within our communities, vaccines remain one of our biggest protections. Nationwide vaccination drives are in full swing, and as more people look to get vaccinated, their requirements for information continue to evolve: finding vaccine availability by location, specific information about vaccination services offered, and details on appointment availability are increasingly important to know.

In March 2021, we started showing COVID-19 vaccination centers on Google, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Starting this week, for over 13,000 locations across the country, people will be able to get more helpful information about vaccine availability and appointments -- powered by real-time data from the CoWIN APIs. This includes information such as:

  • Availability of appointment slots at each center

  • Vaccines and doses offered (Dose 1 or Dose 2)

  • Expectations for pricing (Paid or Free)

  • Link to the CoWIN website for booking

Across Google Search, Maps, and Google Assistant, now find more detailed information on vaccination availability, including vaccines and doses available, appointments and more

The above information will automatically show up when users search for vaccine centers near them, or in any specific area – across Google Search, Maps and Google Assistant. In addition to English, users can also search in eight Indian languages including Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, Gujarati, and Marathi. We will continue to partner closely with the CoWIN team to extend this functionality to all vaccination centers across India.

As people continue to seek information related to the pandemic to manage their lives around it, we remain committed to finding and sharing authoritative and timely information across our platforms.

Posted by Hema Budaraju, Director, Google Search


Raising our India commitment to build a safer internet for everyone

At Google, safety is core to everything we do. We design our products to ensure that they are secure by default and private by design, and you’re in control of your information. We are privileged that hundreds of millions of Indians place their trust in Google products. 


In India, we have been working towards making the internet helpful for over a billion people through a deeper understanding of our users’ needs under our Next Billion Users initiative, and launching many India-first features and products. After the outbreak of COVID-19, the internet's role in our everyday lives has become all the more central. With more and more Indians turning to the internet for their day-to-day needs, we recognise our responsibility to ensure that they’re protected from an evolving range of online risks — from phishing to financial fraud to misinformation. We also know that new users in particular are vulnerable to threats from bad actors.   


Today, we are underlining our commitment to protect users against this multidimensional challenge — and make the internet safer for everyone. 


Ramping up our trust & safety efforts in India 


To protect our users and products at the scale at which we operate, everyday 24x7, we continuously invest in both people and technology to make the internet safer. With over 20,000 people spread across the world, our Trust and Safety teams are dedicated to identifying, fighting, and preventing online harms. This includes everything from researching emerging abuse trends, to developing policies and standards that make clear what is acceptable on our platforms, to building the technology that enables enforcement of those policies at scale, including compliance with local laws and regulations in every country we operate in. Just in the last year, we’ve invested over $1 billion on our content moderation systems and processes, and we continue to invest in this area. 


In India, we have significantly increased the resources dedicated to these teams, adding product policy analysts, security specialists, and user trust experts, and expanded our efforts to provide coverage in more than 10 vernacular Indian languages, enabling our central teams to benefit from the local nuance and inputs.  This increased focus will help us to tackle misinformation, fraud, threats to child safety, violent extremism, phishing attacks, and malware, among other abuse areas.


A collaborative approach for a safer internet 


We recognise that the work of building a safer internet needs the leadership of the larger internet industry that is driving India’s digital economy. These challenges cannot be overcome by one or two players alone, and there is a need to step up our collective efforts as an industry. We are committed to sharing our tools and the institutional knowledge and capabilities we’ve developed over the years to contribute to this joint responsibility. We will be working with leading industry organisations to help train developers and startups in these capabilities, build communal solutions to shared safety challenges, and innovate on open-source tools so we can better protect Indians online.


Investing in user awareness and education in Indian languages


We also know that safety information helps people understand and avoid online harm. The Google Safety Centre serves as a single destination dedicated to educating and empowering our users on the importance of digital safety. As many people in India use the internet in their regional language, we are launching the new and updated Google Safety Centre in eight languages starting with Hindi, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada, and Telugu, with three more Indian languages set to roll out by the end of the year. 

On this platform, users can discover helpful resources and easy tips, and identify the digital habits that are right for them and their families, all in the language of their choice. With the ‘My Activity’ hub in the Safety Centre, they can review, control, or delete the activity saved to their Google accounts. This section received more than 1 billion visits by Indian users in the first half of 2021 alone, and we hope this refreshed Safety Center will help millions more.


As part of this effort, we’ve also launched a user education campaign in multiple languages, to bring attention to common threats like phishing, malware, and fraud.



Raising our commitment to ensure children’s safety online


While our policies don’t allow kids under 13 to create a standard Google account, we’ve worked hard to design enriching product experiences for them — as well as for older teens and their families. We are aware that kids and teens are spending more time online, and parents, educators, child safety and privacy experts, and policy makers are rightfully concerned about how to keep them safe. We share these concerns and we have announced a series of new policies in response.

We are also committed to matching these efforts with digital safety resources for parents and children. So starting today, we are excited to launch our global Be Internet Awesome program in India, a resource that is designed and crafted by digital safety experts to help children, families, and educators learn about staying safe online. Available in English and Hindi first, then soon in other Indian languages, Be Internet Awesome is a great resource for kids, parents, and teachers to learn about safe and healthy internet habits.


It includes a highly visual, interactive experience called ‘Interland’, where children can learn the fundamentals of online safety and participate in a series of fun, challenging games. They’ll learn how to safeguard valuable information, one-up cyber bullies, and spot what’s real and what’s fake. We’re also keen for children to explore Be Internet Awesome through avenues they’re already familiar with, and so we are delighted to announce our partnership with popular Indian comic book publishers, Amar Chitra Katha, who will help kids discover these critical internet safety lessons through their favourite characters, in eight Indian languages.


A safer and trusted app experience for our users


Affordable smartphones can unlock online opportunities for millions more Indians. But these devices have to be underpinned by a bedrock of privacy, security, and transparency. We have stepped up our efforts to deliver a privacy-first experience with Android 12 with a new privacy dashboard that gives people a clear timeline view of apps that have accessed their location, microphone, and camera in the last 24 hours — so they can better understand and control what data apps use. 


At the same time, we’re taking steps to identify and respond to concerns around specific app categories more quickly. For example, we recently announced clarifications around the policies on personal loan apps, including new requirements that will help safeguard users, while enabling legitimate developers to operate and flourish. And we have significantly expanded our Google Play support teams in India, enabling us to gain a deeper understanding of the needs of our partners and users — including around online safety. The bottom line is this: when we solve for our users, we also solve for our developers. 


We have no doubt that what we do in India will also shape the future of a Safer Internet for everyone. 


Building a safer internet for everyone is not one more thing to do, it is the one thing to do — together.


Posted by Sanjay Gupta, Country Manager & Vice President, Google India, and Kristie Canegallo, Vice President, Trust & Safety, Google 


Pixel Buds A-Series: Rich sound with an iconic design

When we first introduced our truly wireless Pixel Buds, we aimed to pack plenty of functionality into a surprisingly small product. Now, we’re making that same premium sound quality, along with hands-free help from Google Assistant and real-time translation.


Introducing Pixel Buds A-Series: rich sound, clear calls and Google helpfulness, all in a low-profile design, for ₹ 9,999.


A premium audio experience


Our research shows that most people describe great sound as full, clear and natural. This is what guides our audio tuning process and shows up in other devices, like Nest Audio. And Pixel Buds A-Series are no exception. Custom-designed 12 mm dynamic speaker drivers deliver full, clear and natural sound, with the option for even more power in those low tones with Bass Boost. 


To experience the full range of the speaker’s capabilities, especially in the low frequencies, a good seal is essential. We’ve scanned thousands of ears to make Pixel Buds A-Series fit securely with a gentle seal. In order to keep the fit comfortable over time, a spatial vent reduces in-ear pressure. 


Each earbud also connects to the main device playing audio, and has strong individual transmission power, to keep your sound clear and uninterrupted.

The stabilizer arc ensures a gentle, but secure fit while spatial vents prevent that plugged ear feeling.


Sound quality can also be affected by your environment.  The new Pixel Buds A-Series come with Adaptive Sound, which increases or decreases the volume based on your surroundings. This comes in handy when you're moving from the quiet of your home to somewhere noisy like a city street, or while jogging past a loud construction site.


And your calls will have great sound, too. To make sure your calls are as clear as they can be, Pixel Buds A-Series use beamforming mics to focus on your voice and reduce outside noise, making your calls crystal clear (though of course, overall call quality depends on signal strength, environment, network, and other factors). Once your call is over, quickly get back to your music with a simple “Ok Google, play my music.”



Stylish and hardworking 


For Pixel Buds A-Series, we wanted to bring back the iconic Clearly White, but added a twist with new gray undertones. We use nature for inspiration in our colors all the time, and our design team was looking to create soothing tones that evoke a sense of comfort and relaxation.   


Pixel Buds’ design is inspired by the idea that great things can come in small packages: Pixel Buds A-Series include up to five hours of listening time on a single charge or up to 24 hours using the charging case. And with the ability to get a quick charge — about 15 minutes in the case gives you up to three hours of listening time — you can keep listening anywhere.1 


They’re comfortable enough for those long listening sessions, and don’t worry if some of that time is devoted to a sweaty workout or a run in the rain: The earbuds are also sweat and water-resistant.2 



Hands-free access to the best of Google 


Google Assistant is built right into the Pixel Buds A-Series. You can get quick hands-free help to check the weather, get an answer, change the volume, or have notifications read to you with a simple “Ok Google.” 


You can do more than just ask questions, though — for example, you can get real-time translation in more than 40 languages (including Bengali, Hindi, and Tamil) right in your ear while using a Pixel or Android 6.0+ phone. Say “Ok Google, help me speak French” to start a conversation. For more information, including available languages and minimum requirements, visit  g.co/pixelbuds/help


Pixel Buds A-Series work with any phone running bluetooth as standard wireless earbuds, delivering a quality listening experience. Features like the Google Assistant, Fast Pair, Find my Device, Adaptive Sound, and more work on all Pixel and Android devices running Android 6.0+.


Pixel Buds A-Series will be available for purchase on 25th August 2021 at Flipkart, Reliance Digital, and Tata Cliq, and will be coming to more retail outlets subsequently.


Posted by Austine Chang, Product Manager


1. All listening times are approximate and were measured using music playback with pre-production hardware and software, with fully charged Pixel Buds A-Series and case, and other features disabled. Case is used to recharge Pixel Buds A-Series when their batteries are depleted. Charging times are approximate. Use of other features will decrease battery life. Battery life depends on device, features enabled, usage, environment and many other factors. Actual battery life may be lower.

2. Pixel Buds A-Series (earbuds only) have a water protection rating of IPx4 under IEC standard 60529. Water resistance is not a permanent condition and may be compromised by normal wear and tear, repair, disassembly, or damage.


Introducing Class 5 of the Google for Startups Accelerator India


The Covid-19 pandemic has brought forth a new set of challenges amid the ‘new normal’, across healthcare, digital payments, mental health as well as core pillars of the economy like agriculture. The pandemic has also accelerated digital adoption across sectors and there is immense opportunity for tech enabled startups.

 

Our charter remains to bring the best of Google to India’s thriving startup ecosystem, leverage our learnings across the globe to help startups build the best products. GFS Accelerator has accelerated over 80 startups, which have collectively gone on to raise over $1.9 billion in funding and played a key role in making India one of the largest startup ecosystems in the world. 

 

This mission is more important than ever right now, when this ecosystem faces many challenges. Like the last cohort, GFS Accelerator India continues to operate with an expanded scope of our 3 month mentorship and support program for startups. We’ve included startups across maturity levels that are not only utilizing cutting edge tech but are meaningfully helping India, and potentially the world, adapt and move forward in this season.

 

After screening over 700 applicants, we have identified 16 startups, to form the fifth class of GFS Accelerator India. These startups will receive 3 months of mentorship and support from our network of Google and Industry mentors. The ongoing support ranges from access to Google teams, tech guidance on projects, machine learning related support, UX and design mentorship, leadership workshops,  networking opportunities, PR support and much more.

 

The latest batch comprises startups across key areas requiring innovation such healthcare, fintech, social, education, agritech and more.



  • EkinCare: Enterprise ready, end to end, holistic virtual care platform for payers like employers, insurance companies etc. to save on healthcare costs, and increase end user engagement


  • AgNext: Building trust, speed & transparency in food transactions across the agriculture supply chain using AI-based Rapid Food Quality Assessments.


  • Goals101: Making banking delightful, automated and contextual.


  • OkCredit: A digital bookkeeping solution for small businesses, making selling on credit easier for them.


  • Nemocare Wellness: Ending all preventable neonatal and maternal deaths in the developing world by building affordable, accurate, continuous smart monitoring wearables



  • Bolo Live (Bolo Indya): Live streaming app for next 500 mn internet users of India, enabling them to transform their social capital to financial independence by monetizing their content and fan base.


  • Yoda: Instagram for learning


  • Hypd: Content to Commerce platform, for the See It-Like It-Buy It generation!


  • EloElo: Creator-driven Vernacular Social Gaming platform that brings traditional Indian activities/ games online & enables Creators to monetize their talent effectively


  • Aquaconnect: Full-stack aquaculture technology venture to offer data-driven farm advisory and marketplace solutions to fish and shrimp farmers


  • Bullet: Combining convenience of UPI payment system with power of credit for daily spends


  • MedCords: Family's first digital touchpoint for affordable primary diagnosis and quick medicine delivery.



  • KareXpert: A fully integrated Hospital in the cloud - GSuite for hospitals of any size


  • Walrus: Digital bank for the Indian Youth


A warm welcome to the Class 5 of Google for Startups Accelerator India!

Posted by Paul Ravindranath G, Program Manager, Google for Startups Accelerator, India


Giving kids and teens a safer experience online

We're committed to building products that are secure by default, private by design, and that put people in control. And while our policies don’t allow kids under 13 to create a standard Google account, we’ve worked hard to design enriching product experiences specifically for them, teens, and families. Through Family Link, we allow parents to set up supervised accounts for their children, set screen time limits, and more. Our Be Internet Awesome digital literacy program helps kids learn how to be safe and engaged digital citizens; and our dedicated YouTube Kids app, Kids Space and teacher approved apps in Play offer experiences that are customized for younger audiences. 


Technology has helped kids and teens during the pandemic stay in school through lockdowns and maintain connections with family and friends. As kids and teens spend more time online, parents, educators, child safety and privacy experts, and policy makers are rightly concerned about how to keep them safe. We engage with these groups regularly, and share these concerns. 


Some countries are implementing regulations in this area, and as we comply with these regulations, we’re looking at ways to develop consistent product experiences and user controls for kids and teens globally. Today, we’re announcing a variety of new policies and updates:


Giving minors more control over their digital footprint

While we already provide a range of removal options for people using Google Search, children are at particular risk when it comes to controlling their imagery on the internet. In the coming weeks, we’ll introduce a new policy that enables anyone under the age of 18, or their parent or guardian, to request the removal of their images from Google Image results. Of course, removing an image from Search doesn’t remove it from the web, but we believe this change will help give young people more control of their images online. 


Tailoring product experiences for kids and teens 

Some of our most popular products help kids and teens explore their interests, learn more about the world, and connect with friends. We’re committed to constantly making these experiences safer for them. That’s why in the coming weeks and months we're going to make a number of changes to Google Accounts for people under 18:


  • YouTube: We’re going to change the default upload setting to the most private option available for teens ages 13-17. In addition we’ll more prominently surface digital wellbeing features, and provide safeguards and education about commercial content. Learn more about these changes here

  • Search: We have a range of systems, tools and policies that are designed to help people discover content from across the web while not surprising them with mature content they haven’t searched for. One of the protections we offer is SafeSearch, which helps filter out explicit results when enabled and is already on by default for all signed-in users under 13 who have accounts managed by Family Link. In the coming months, we’ll turn SafeSearch on for existing signed-in users under 18 and make this the default setting for teens setting up new accounts. 

  • Assistant: We are always working to prevent mature content from surfacing during a child’s experience with Google Assistant on shared devices, and in the coming months we’ll be introducing new default protections. For example, we will apply our SafeSearch technology to the web browser on smart displays.

  • Location History: Location History is a Google account setting that helps make our products more useful. It's already off by default for all accounts, and children with supervised accounts don’t have the option of turning Location History on. Taking this a step further, we’ll soon extend this to users under the age of 18 globally, meaning that Location History will remain off (without the option to turn it on).

  • Play: Building on efforts like content ratings, and our "Teacher-approved apps" for quality kids content, we're launching a new safety section that will let parents know which apps follow our Families policies. Apps will be required to disclose how they use the data they collect in greater detail, making it easier for parents to decide if the app is right for their child before they download it. 

  • Google Workspace for Education: As we recently announced, we’re making it much easier for administrators to tailor experiences for their users based on age (such as restricting student activity on YouTube). And to make web browsing safer, K-12 institutions will have SafeSearch technology enabled by default, while switching to Guest Mode and Incognito Mode for web browsing will be turned off by default.


New advertising changes

We’ll be expanding safeguards to prevent age-sensitive ad categories from being shown to teens, and we will block ad targeting based on the age, gender or interests of people under 18. We’ll start rolling out these updates across our products globally over the coming months. Our goal is to ensure we’re providing additional protections and delivering age-appropriate experiences for ads on Google.


New digital wellbeing tools 

In Family Link, parents can set screen time limits and reminders for their kids’ supervised devices. And, on Assistant-enabled smart devices, we give parents control through Digital Wellbeing tools available in the Google Home app. In the coming months, we’ll roll out new Digital Wellbeing filters that allow people to block news, podcasts, and access to webpages on Assistant-enabled smart devices.


On YouTube, we’ll turn on take a break and bedtime reminders and turn off autoplay for users under 18. And, on YouTube Kids we’ll add an autoplay option and turn it off by default to empower parents to make the right choice for their families. 

Transparency Resources: The Family Link Privacy Guide for Children and Teens and the Teen Privacy Guide

Improving how we communicate our data practices to kids and teens
Data plays an important role in making our products functional and helpful. It’s our job to make it easy for kids and teens to understand what data is being collected, why, and how it is used. Based on research, we’re developing engaging, easy-to-understand materials for young people and their parents to help them better understand our data practices. These resources will begin to roll out globally in the coming months. 


Ongoing work to develop age assured product experiences

We regularly engage with kids and teens, parents, governments, industry leaders, and experts in the fields of privacy, child safety, wellbeing and education to design better, safer products for kids and teens. Having an accurate age for a user can be an important element in providing experiences tailored to their needs. Yet, knowing the accurate age of our users across multiple products and surfaces, while at the same time respecting their privacy and ensuring that our services remain accessible, is a complex challenge. It will require input from regulators, lawmakers, industry bodies, technology providers, and others to address it – and to ensure that we all build a safer internet for kids. 


Posted by Mindy Brooks, General Manager, Kids and Families


YouTube Shorts Fund and 7 other ways to earn money and build Your Business on YouTube


Earlier today, Robert Kyncl, Youtube’s Chief Business Officer announced the launch of the YouTube Shorts Fund, a $100M fund distributed over 2021-2022. Each month, we’ll invite thousands of eligible creators to claim a payment from the Fund. This is the first step in our journey to build a monetization model for Shorts on YouTube and any creator that meets our eligibility criteria can participate. We’re excited about what this means for creators in India. Not only does the Shorts Fund reward the next generation of mobile creators for their original contributions to Shorts, it also offers them a new way to earn money and build a business on YouTube. 

YouTube has helped a growing community of Indian creators and artists to transform their creativity into viable businesses. Along with the YouTube Partner Program, which is our unique business model that shares the majority of revenue generated on the platform with creators, YouTube has continued investing in new monetization options for creators beyond advertising, including Merchandise, Channel Memberships, Super Chats and Super Stickers. We have seen a demonstrable impact of these revenue sources, with over 100% growth in creator revenue in India coming from features like Super Chat, Super Stickers, Channel Memberships and Merchandise between February and May 2020. 


In addition to the Shorts Fund, here are 7 ways in which creators can continue to earn more revenues from their content on YouTube and build robust businesses.


  1. Ads

Ads have been at the core of creators’ revenue streams, and continue to be the main way that creators can earn money on YouTube. Once in YPP, creators can decide which videos to turn on ads for. In addition to our Community Guidelines, videos must meet our Advertiser-Friendly Guidelines to be eligible for ads. Creators receive the majority of the revenue generated from ads on YouTube.


  1. YouTube Premium

YouTube Premium is a paid subscription option which enables members to enjoy ad-free content, background playback, downloads, exclusive content and premium access to the YouTube Music app. The majority of subscription revenue goes to YouTube partners. 


  1. Merchandise

The merch shelf allows channels to showcase their official branded merchandise right on their watch page on YouTube. 


Bhuvan Bam launched his everyday streetwear brand, Youthiapa, in 2017 after building an enviable subscriber base for BB Ki Vines in just two years since he began uploading comedy sketches to YouTube. Today, more than 20.7M of his subscribers can browse for their favourite merchandise from tees to caps and even masks right by accessing his store on the channel.


When Garden Up’s Ekta was looking to grow her home decor and gardening accessories business, she introduced the YouTube Merch Shelf and displayed the Store tab on her channel, allowing her to showcase her products to her 1.28M subscribers.


  1. Super Chat 

Fans watching livestreams and Premieres can purchase a Super Chat: a highlighted message in the chat stream that stands out from the crowd to get even more of their favorite creator’s attention. Samay Raina emerged as one of the most subscribed chess streamers in India, clocking  over 100M views for his content that sits at the intersection of chess game play and comedy. Samay not only supercharged interest in an age-old game, but has also increased his earnings from his YouTube channel at a time when revenues from on-ground gigs had come to a halt, building an engaged community of fans, with Super Chat.


With Super Chat, our leading gaming creators including Dynamo Gaming, MortaL, and Gamerfleet have taken their livestreams to the next level, creating immersive and interactive experiences for their audiences while monetizing their channel. 


  1. Super Stickers

Another way followers can show support during livestreams and Premieres is with Super Stickers, which allows fans to purchase a fun sticker that stands out. We have seen creators such as Payal Gaming, Natasha Gaming and Curlbury use Super Stickers to great effect. 


  1. Channel memberships

With channel memberships, creators can offer exclusive perks and content to viewers who join their channel as a monthly paying member at prices set by the creator. Nitin Bhatia, a creator who is also a full-time trader, utilizes channel memberships to share exclusive educational videos on stocks, real estate and personal finance with his members. He has seen almost a 6X increase in YouTube revenue within 18 months. 


Among Carnatic musician Sanjay Subrahmanyan’s growing subscribers are Indians living abroad who have found a unique way to connect with their culture through his channel. Every month, he enthralls his audience with Sanjay Sabha that includes exclusive access to a special concert each month and early preview to his other videos.


  1. Super Thanks

Viewers can give thanks and appreciation on uploaded videos as well through Super Thanks, the newest member of the Supers family. Super Thanks enables fans to support their favorite channels, while giving creators access to a new source of revenue. As an added bonus, fans will get a distinct, colorful comment to highlight the purchase, which creators can respond to. We’re excited to see how our creators will use Super Thanks to  keep their connections with (super) fans meaningful! 


Every new fan that subscribes to their favourite creators’ channels, every new member that joins, every like, comment received and every rupee earned goes into building the business ventures of tomorrow. At YouTube, the passion and ambition of our creators fuels us to continue innovating new ways to help them realise their goals and we are committed to introducing more revenue opportunities for our creators.  


Posted by Satya Raghavan, Director, YouTube Partnerships, India


Helping viewers discover and buy products from Indian retailers through video: YouTube to acquire simsim

As more and more shopping happens online, video has an important role in helping viewers discover new products and find expert advice they trust. Every day, people come to YouTube to compare products, watch reviews and find recommendations from their favorite creators. Today, we are taking another step to help viewers discover and buy products from local businesses: we have signed a definitive agreement to acquire simsim and expect to complete the transaction in the coming weeks.

simsim is helping small businesses in India transition to e-commerce by using the power of video and creators. The simsim app serves as a platform to connect local businesses, influencers and customers. Here’s how it works: creators post video reviews about products from local businesses, and viewers can buy those products directly through the app. Videos are available in three local languages including Hindi, Tamil and Bengali, enabling retailers of all sizes to reach buyers through video in their preferred language.

For over 15 years, small businesses have used YouTube to expand their presence online -- and many of them use YouTube to reach customers outside of their local community, from Interior Designers to Silk Sarees sellers. By bringing simsim and YouTube together, our goal is to help small businesses and retailers in India reach new customers in even more powerful ways. There will be no immediate changes to simsim, the app will continue operating independently while we work on ways to showcase simsim offers to YouTube viewers.  

Today’s announcement builds on our ongoing investments in India, such as the India Digitization Fund. As we work with our partners to expand access to the Internet, we know online video will continue to grow as the primary way to find information, entertainment and connections in India. With over 2500 YouTube creators with over one million subscribers, and the success of YouTube Shorts, which we launched in India first, we’re committed to bringing the best of YouTube to India and growing the creator community by making it even easier for the new generation of mobile-first creators to get started.

In a joint statement, simsim cofounders, Amit Bagaria, Kunal Suri and Saurabh Vashishtha said, “We started simsim with the mission of helping users across India shop online with ease, enabled through small sellers and brands showcasing and selling their products using the power of content by trusted influencers. Being a part of the YouTube and Google ecosystem furthers simsim in its mission. We cannot think of a better ecosystem in which to build simsim, in terms of technology, reach, creator networks and culture. We can’t wait to be part of YouTube and are excited to build simsim within the most admired tech company in the world.”

We’re inspired by the opportunity in India and look forward to working with the simsim team to build the future of online video commerce in India.

Posted by Gautam Anand, VP, YouTube APAC