Category Archives: Google India Blog

The Official Google Blog for India

Using Technology to More Consistently Apply Age Restrictions

Over the last several years, we’ve taken important steps to make YouTube a safer place for families, like launching the standalone YouTube Kids app for users under the age of 13. Today, we’re announcing a continuation of these efforts to live up to our regulatory obligations around the world and to provide age-appropriate experiences when people come to YouTube. 


We recognize that users and creators are generally the best judge of who should see their content, so we empower them with tools to manage access. Not only can they use privacy settings to make sure they are sharing videos with just friends and family or small groups, but we also encourage them to age-restrict their own content when appropriate. When content is age-restricted, users coming to YouTube must be signed-in and their account age must be 18 or older in order to view the video. If they aren’t, they see a warning and are redirected to find other content that is age-appropriate. Our Community Guidelines include guidance to uploaders about when content should be age-restricted. 


Today, our Trust & Safety team applies age-restrictions when, in the course of reviewing content, they encounter a video that isn't appropriate for viewers under 18. Going forward, we will build on our approach of using machine learning to detect content for review, by developing and adapting our technology to help us automatically apply age-restrictions. Uploaders can appeal the decision if they believe it was incorrectly applied. For creators in the YouTube Partner Program, we expect these automated age-restrictions to have little to no impact on revenue, as most of these videos also violate our advertiser-friendly guidelines and therefore have limited or no ads


To make sure the experience is consistent, viewers attempting to access age-restricted videos on most third-party websites will be redirected to YouTube where they must sign-in and be over 18 to view it. This will help ensure that, no matter where a video is discovered, it will only be viewable by the appropriate audience.


Because our use of technology will result in more videos being age-restricted, our policy team took this opportunity to revisit where we draw the line for age-restricted content. After consulting with experts and comparing ourselves against other global content rating frameworks, only minor adjustments were necessary. Our policy pages have been updated to reflect these changes. All the changes outlined above will roll out over the coming months. 


Posted by The YouTube Team


Using Technology to More Consistently Apply Age Restrictions

Over the last several years, we’ve taken important steps to make YouTube a safer place for families, like launching the standalone YouTube Kids app for users under the age of 13. Today, we’re announcing a continuation of these efforts to live up to our regulatory obligations around the world and to provide age-appropriate experiences when people come to YouTube. 


We recognize that users and creators are generally the best judge of who should see their content, so we empower them with tools to manage access. Not only can they use privacy settings to make sure they are sharing videos with just friends and family or small groups, but we also encourage them to age-restrict their own content when appropriate. When content is age-restricted, users coming to YouTube must be signed-in and their account age must be 18 or older in order to view the video. If they aren’t, they see a warning and are redirected to find other content that is age-appropriate. Our Community Guidelines include guidance to uploaders about when content should be age-restricted. 


Today, our Trust & Safety team applies age-restrictions when, in the course of reviewing content, they encounter a video that isn't appropriate for viewers under 18. Going forward, we will build on our approach of using machine learning to detect content for review, by developing and adapting our technology to help us automatically apply age-restrictions. Uploaders can appeal the decision if they believe it was incorrectly applied. For creators in the YouTube Partner Program, we expect these automated age-restrictions to have little to no impact on revenue, as most of these videos also violate our advertiser-friendly guidelines and therefore have limited or no ads


To make sure the experience is consistent, viewers attempting to access age-restricted videos on most third-party websites will be redirected to YouTube where they must sign-in and be over 18 to view it. This will help ensure that, no matter where a video is discovered, it will only be viewable by the appropriate audience.


Because our use of technology will result in more videos being age-restricted, our policy team took this opportunity to revisit where we draw the line for age-restricted content. After consulting with experts and comparing ourselves against other global content rating frameworks, only minor adjustments were necessary. Our policy pages have been updated to reflect these changes. All the changes outlined above will roll out over the coming months. 


Posted by The YouTube Team


Answering your FAQs about Google Play billing

We are committed to providing powerful tools and services to help developers build and grow their businesses while ensuring a safe, secure and seamless experience for users. Today we are addressing some of the most common themes we hear in feedback from developers. Below are a few frequently asked developer questions that we thought would also be helpful to address.

Q: Can I distribute my app via other Android app stores or through my website?

A: Yes, you can distribute your app however you like! As an open ecosystem, most Android devices come preinstalled with more than one store - and users can install others. Android provides developers the freedom and flexibility to distribute apps through other Android app stores, directly via websites, or device preloads, all without using Google Play’s billing system.

Q: What apps need to use Google Play's billing system?

A: All apps distributed on Google Play that are offering in-app purchases of digital goods need to use Google Play’s billing system. Our payments policy has always required this. Less than 3% of developers with apps on Play sold digital goods over the last 12 months, and of this 3%, the vast majority (nearly 97%) already use Google Play's billing. For those few developers that need to update their apps, they will have until September 30, 2021 to make those changes. New apps submitted after January 20, 2021 will need to be in compliance.

Q: Many businesses have needed to move their previously physical services online (e.g. digital live events). Will these apps need to use Google Play’s billing?

A: We recognize that the global pandemic has resulted in many businesses having to navigate the challenges of moving their physical business to digital and engaging customers in a new way, for example, moving in-person experiences and classes online. For the next 12 months, these businesses will not need to comply with our payments policy, and we will continue to reassess the situation over the next year. For developers undergoing these changes, we're eager to hear from you and work with you to help you reach new users and grow your online businesses, while enabling a consistent and safe user experience online.

Q: Do Google’s apps have to follow this policy too?

A: Yes. Google Play’s developer policies - including the requirement that apps use Google Play’s billing system for in-app purchases of digital goods - apply to all apps on Play, including Google’s own apps.

Q: Can I communicate with my users about alternate ways to pay?

A: Yes. Outside of your app you are free to communicate with them about alternative purchase options. You can use email marketing and other channels outside of the app to provide subscription offers and even special pricing.

Q: Can I communicate with my users about promotions on other platforms?

A: Of course. We're an app developer too, and we know how important it is not to restrict your ability to communicate with your users. You can email them or otherwise communicate outside of the app information about your offerings, even if they are different on Google Play than in other places.

Q: Can I have different app features, prices and experience depending on the platform?

A: Yes. It is your service and business, it is up to you. We do not require parity across platforms. You can create different versions of your app to support different platforms, features and pricing models.

Q: Can I offer a consumption-only (reader) app on Play?

A: Yes. Google Play allows any app to be consumption-only, even if it is part of a paid service. For example, a user could login when the app opens and the user could access content paid for somewhere else.

Q: Does your billing policy change depending on what category my app is in?

A: No. Business or consumer apps, and verticals like music or email are all treated the same on Google Play.

Q: Can I offer my customers refunds directly?

A: Yes. We understand the importance of maintaining the relationship with your customers. You can continue to issue refunds to your customers and other customer support directly.

Q: Will Google Play allow cloud gaming apps?

A: Yes. Cloud game streaming apps that comply with Play’s policies from any developer are welcome on Google Play.

For more examples and best practices for in-app purchases, visit this Play Academy course and watch this video.

Posted by Mrinalini Loew, Group Product Manager


Answering your FAQs about Google Play billing

We are committed to providing powerful tools and services to help developers build and grow their businesses while ensuring a safe, secure and seamless experience for users. Today we are addressing some of the most common themes we hear in feedback from developers. Below are a few frequently asked developer questions that we thought would also be helpful to address.

Q: Can I distribute my app via other Android app stores or through my website?

A: Yes, you can distribute your app however you like! As an open ecosystem, most Android devices come preinstalled with more than one store - and users can install others. Android provides developers the freedom and flexibility to distribute apps through other Android app stores, directly via websites, or device preloads, all without using Google Play’s billing system.

Q: What apps need to use Google Play's billing system?

A: All apps distributed on Google Play that are offering in-app purchases of digital goods need to use Google Play’s billing system. Our payments policy has always required this. Less than 3% of developers with apps on Play sold digital goods over the last 12 months, and of this 3%, the vast majority (nearly 97%) already use Google Play's billing. For those few developers that need to update their apps, they will have until September 30, 2021 to make those changes. New apps submitted after January 20, 2021 will need to be in compliance.

Q: Many businesses have needed to move their previously physical services online (e.g. digital live events). Will these apps need to use Google Play’s billing?

A: We recognize that the global pandemic has resulted in many businesses having to navigate the challenges of moving their physical business to digital and engaging customers in a new way, for example, moving in-person experiences and classes online. For the next 12 months, these businesses will not need to comply with our payments policy, and we will continue to reassess the situation over the next year. For developers undergoing these changes, we're eager to hear from you and work with you to help you reach new users and grow your online businesses, while enabling a consistent and safe user experience online.

Q: Do Google’s apps have to follow this policy too?

A: Yes. Google Play’s developer policies - including the requirement that apps use Google Play’s billing system for in-app purchases of digital goods - apply to all apps on Play, including Google’s own apps.

Q: Can I communicate with my users about alternate ways to pay?

A: Yes. Outside of your app you are free to communicate with them about alternative purchase options. You can use email marketing and other channels outside of the app to provide subscription offers and even special pricing.

Q: Can I communicate with my users about promotions on other platforms?

A: Of course. We're an app developer too, and we know how important it is not to restrict your ability to communicate with your users. You can email them or otherwise communicate outside of the app information about your offerings, even if they are different on Google Play than in other places.

Q: Can I have different app features, prices and experience depending on the platform?

A: Yes. It is your service and business, it is up to you. We do not require parity across platforms. You can create different versions of your app to support different platforms, features and pricing models.

Q: Can I offer a consumption-only (reader) app on Play?

A: Yes. Google Play allows any app to be consumption-only, even if it is part of a paid service. For example, a user could login when the app opens and the user could access content paid for somewhere else.

Q: Does your billing policy change depending on what category my app is in?

A: No. Business or consumer apps, and verticals like music or email are all treated the same on Google Play.

Q: Can I offer my customers refunds directly?

A: Yes. We understand the importance of maintaining the relationship with your customers. You can continue to issue refunds to your customers and other customer support directly.

Q: Will Google Play allow cloud gaming apps?

A: Yes. Cloud game streaming apps that comply with Play’s policies from any developer are welcome on Google Play.

For more examples and best practices for in-app purchases, visit this Play Academy course and watch this video.

Posted by Mrinalini Loew, Group Product Manager


Listening to developer feedback to improve Google Play

Developers are our partners and by pairing their creativity and innovation with our platforms and tools, together we create delightful experiences for billions of people around the world. Listening carefully to their feedback is an important part of how we continue to make Android better with each release and improve how mobile app stores work. In an April 2019 blog post we shared some updates we made to Android APIs and Play Policies based on developer feedback. And today, we wanted to share some additional insights we’ve gained from developer feedback and how we’re taking that input to improve Google Play and Android. Some of the key themes we’ve heard include:

  • Supporting developers’ ability to choose how they distribute their apps through multiple app stores on different platforms (mobile, PC, and console), each with their own business model competing in a healthy marketplace;

  • Clarifying our policies regarding who needs to use Google Play’s billing system and who does not;

  • Ensuring equal treatment for all apps, including first-party and third-party apps, on our platforms;

  • Allowing developers to connect and communicate directly with their customers;

  • Enabling innovation and ensuring our policies embrace new technologies that can help drive the consumer experience forward.

We’d like to share our perspective on each of these points.

Choice of stores

We believe that developers should have a choice in how they distribute their apps and that stores should compete for the consumer’s and the developer’s business. Choice has always been a core tenet of Android, and it’s why consumers have always had control over which apps they use, be it their keyboard, messaging app, phone dialer, or app store.

Android has always allowed people to get apps from multiple app stores. In fact, most Android devices ship with at least two app stores preinstalled, and consumers are able to install additional app stores. Each store is able to decide its own business model and consumer features. This openness means that even if a developer and Google do not agree on business terms the developer can still distribute on the Android platform. This is why Fortnite, for example, is available directly from Epic's store or from other app stores including Samsung's Galaxy App store.

That said, some developers have given us feedback on how we can make the user experience for installing another app store on their device even better. In response to that feedback, we will be making changes in Android 12 (next year’s Android release) to make it even easier for people to use other app stores on their devices while being careful not to compromise the safety measures Android has in place. We are designing all this now and look forward to sharing more in the future!

Clarity on billing policies

As we mentioned, each Android app store is able to decide its own business model and consumer features. For Google Play, users expect a safe, secure and seamless experience, and developers come to Play for powerful tools and services that help them build and grow their businesses. Our developer policies are designed to help us deliver on these expectations and Google Play's billing system is a cornerstone of our ongoing commitment. Consumers get the benefit of a trusted system that allows them to safely, securely, and seamlessly buy from developers worldwide. Google protects consumers’ payment info with multiple layers of security, using one of the world’s most advanced security infrastructures. For developers, Google Play’s billing system provides an easy way for billions of Android users to transact with them using their local, preferred method of payment.

We’ve always required developers who distribute their apps on Play to use Google Play’s billing system if they offer in-app purchases of digital goods, and pay a service fee from a percentage of the purchase. To be clear, this policy is only applicable to less than 3% of developers with apps on Google Play. We only collect a service fee if the developer charges users to download their app or they sell in-app digital items, and we think that is fair. Not only does this approach allow us to continuously reinvest in the platform, this business model aligns our success directly with the success of developers.

But we have heard feedback that our policy language could be more clear regarding which types of transactions require the use of Google Play’s billing system, and that the current language was causing confusion. We want to be sure our policies are clear and up to date so they can be applied consistently and fairly to all developers, and so we have clarified the language in our Payments Policy to be more explicit that all developers selling digital goods in their apps are required to use Google Play’s billing system.

Again, this isn’t new. This has always been the intention of this long standing policy and this clarification will not affect the vast majority of developers with apps on Google Play. Less than 3% of developers with apps on Play sold digital goods over the last 12 months, and of this 3%, the vast majority (nearly 97%) already use Google Play's billing. But for those who already have an app on Google Play that requires technical work to integrate our billing system, we do not want to unduly disrupt their roadmaps and are giving a year (until September 30, 2021) to complete any needed updates. And of course we will require Google’s apps that do not already use Google Play’s billing system to make the necessary updates as well.

Equal treatment

Our policies apply equally to all apps distributed on Google Play, including Google’s own apps. We use the same standards to decide which apps to promote on Google Play, whether they're third-party apps or our own apps. In fact, we regularly promote apps by Google’s competitors in our Editors Choice picks when they provide a great user experience. Similarly, our algorithms rank third-party apps and games using the same criteria as for ranking Google's own apps.

Communicating with customers

Developers have told us it is very important to be able to speak directly with their customers without significant restrictions. As app developers ourselves, we agree wholeheartedly and our policies have always allowed this.

That said, developers have asked whether they can communicate with their customers directly about pricing, offers, and alternative ways to pay beyond their app via email or other channels. To clarify, Google Play does not have any limitations here on this kind of communication outside of a developer’s app. For example, they might have an offering on another Android app store or through their website at a lower cost than on Google Play.

We understand the importance of maintaining the customer relationship. As such, we have also always allowed developers to issue refunds to their customers and provide other customer support directly.

Enabling innovation

Developers are coming up with cool things all the time. Using their feedback, we are always trying to adjust our approach to ensure that we continue to help enable new forms of innovation. For example, recent innovations in game streaming have generated new game experiences that are available on Google Play, including Microsoft’s recent launch of Xbox cloud gaming in the Xbox Game Pass Android app.

Keep the feedback coming

We really appreciate all the feedback we have received from our developer community and believe the Android ecosystem has never been a more exciting place to be.

It is exciting to see developers such as Duolingo, Truecaller, Hyperconnect, Any.do, and Viber be so successful and grow their business on Android and reach a diverse audience. These kinds of services delight consumers and we are thrilled to have built a platform that can support them.

We’ve also published some additional frequently asked developer questions here.

Posted by Sameer Samat, Vice President, Product Management


Listening to developer feedback to improve Google Play

Developers are our partners and by pairing their creativity and innovation with our platforms and tools, together we create delightful experiences for billions of people around the world. Listening carefully to their feedback is an important part of how we continue to make Android better with each release and improve how mobile app stores work. In an April 2019 blog post we shared some updates we made to Android APIs and Play Policies based on developer feedback. And today, we wanted to share some additional insights we’ve gained from developer feedback and how we’re taking that input to improve Google Play and Android. Some of the key themes we’ve heard include:

  • Supporting developers’ ability to choose how they distribute their apps through multiple app stores on different platforms (mobile, PC, and console), each with their own business model competing in a healthy marketplace;

  • Clarifying our policies regarding who needs to use Google Play’s billing system and who does not;

  • Ensuring equal treatment for all apps, including first-party and third-party apps, on our platforms;

  • Allowing developers to connect and communicate directly with their customers;

  • Enabling innovation and ensuring our policies embrace new technologies that can help drive the consumer experience forward.

We’d like to share our perspective on each of these points.

Choice of stores

We believe that developers should have a choice in how they distribute their apps and that stores should compete for the consumer’s and the developer’s business. Choice has always been a core tenet of Android, and it’s why consumers have always had control over which apps they use, be it their keyboard, messaging app, phone dialer, or app store.

Android has always allowed people to get apps from multiple app stores. In fact, most Android devices ship with at least two app stores preinstalled, and consumers are able to install additional app stores. Each store is able to decide its own business model and consumer features. This openness means that even if a developer and Google do not agree on business terms the developer can still distribute on the Android platform. This is why Fortnite, for example, is available directly from Epic's store or from other app stores including Samsung's Galaxy App store.

That said, some developers have given us feedback on how we can make the user experience for installing another app store on their device even better. In response to that feedback, we will be making changes in Android 12 (next year’s Android release) to make it even easier for people to use other app stores on their devices while being careful not to compromise the safety measures Android has in place. We are designing all this now and look forward to sharing more in the future!

Clarity on billing policies

As we mentioned, each Android app store is able to decide its own business model and consumer features. For Google Play, users expect a safe, secure and seamless experience, and developers come to Play for powerful tools and services that help them build and grow their businesses. Our developer policies are designed to help us deliver on these expectations and Google Play's billing system is a cornerstone of our ongoing commitment. Consumers get the benefit of a trusted system that allows them to safely, securely, and seamlessly buy from developers worldwide. Google protects consumers’ payment info with multiple layers of security, using one of the world’s most advanced security infrastructures. For developers, Google Play’s billing system provides an easy way for billions of Android users to transact with them using their local, preferred method of payment.

We’ve always required developers who distribute their apps on Play to use Google Play’s billing system if they offer in-app purchases of digital goods, and pay a service fee from a percentage of the purchase. To be clear, this policy is only applicable to less than 3% of developers with apps on Google Play. We only collect a service fee if the developer charges users to download their app or they sell in-app digital items, and we think that is fair. Not only does this approach allow us to continuously reinvest in the platform, this business model aligns our success directly with the success of developers.

But we have heard feedback that our policy language could be more clear regarding which types of transactions require the use of Google Play’s billing system, and that the current language was causing confusion. We want to be sure our policies are clear and up to date so they can be applied consistently and fairly to all developers, and so we have clarified the language in our Payments Policy to be more explicit that all developers selling digital goods in their apps are required to use Google Play’s billing system.

Again, this isn’t new. This has always been the intention of this long standing policy and this clarification will not affect the vast majority of developers with apps on Google Play. Less than 3% of developers with apps on Play sold digital goods over the last 12 months, and of this 3%, the vast majority (nearly 97%) already use Google Play's billing. But for those who already have an app on Google Play that requires technical work to integrate our billing system, we do not want to unduly disrupt their roadmaps and are giving a year (until September 30, 2021) to complete any needed updates. And of course we will require Google’s apps that do not already use Google Play’s billing system to make the necessary updates as well.

Equal treatment

Our policies apply equally to all apps distributed on Google Play, including Google’s own apps. We use the same standards to decide which apps to promote on Google Play, whether they're third-party apps or our own apps. In fact, we regularly promote apps by Google’s competitors in our Editors Choice picks when they provide a great user experience. Similarly, our algorithms rank third-party apps and games using the same criteria as for ranking Google's own apps.

Communicating with customers

Developers have told us it is very important to be able to speak directly with their customers without significant restrictions. As app developers ourselves, we agree wholeheartedly and our policies have always allowed this.

That said, developers have asked whether they can communicate with their customers directly about pricing, offers, and alternative ways to pay beyond their app via email or other channels. To clarify, Google Play does not have any limitations here on this kind of communication outside of a developer’s app. For example, they might have an offering on another Android app store or through their website at a lower cost than on Google Play.

We understand the importance of maintaining the customer relationship. As such, we have also always allowed developers to issue refunds to their customers and provide other customer support directly.

Enabling innovation

Developers are coming up with cool things all the time. Using their feedback, we are always trying to adjust our approach to ensure that we continue to help enable new forms of innovation. For example, recent innovations in game streaming have generated new game experiences that are available on Google Play, including Microsoft’s recent launch of Xbox cloud gaming in the Xbox Game Pass Android app.

Keep the feedback coming

We really appreciate all the feedback we have received from our developer community and believe the Android ecosystem has never been a more exciting place to be.

It is exciting to see developers such as Duolingo, Truecaller, Hyperconnect, Any.do, and Viber be so successful and grow their business on Android and reach a diverse audience. These kinds of services delight consumers and we are thrilled to have built a platform that can support them.

We’ve also published some additional frequently asked developer questions here.

Posted by Sameer Samat, Vice President, Product Management


Introducing the special fourth batch of Google for Startups Accelerator India

The Covid-19 pandemic has upended life as we know it and startups in the early stages of their journeys, with little to no cushion to keep them going, have become among the most vulnerable to the economic crises around the world. At the same time, the pandemic has accelerated digital adoption across sectors and equally, also poses immense opportunity for tech enabled startups, the rails for which are now much wider and growing fast. 

 

The charter for Google for Startups Accelerator, since inception, has been to bring the best of Google to India’s thriving startup ecosystem, leverage Google’s learnings across the globe to help startups home in on the crux of building their solution, than waste resources reinventing the wheel.  Since 2015, GFS Accelerator has mentored over 600 startups and accelerated over 60, which have collectively gone on to raise over $700 million in funding and played a key role in making India the second largest startup ecosystem in the world. 

 

This mission is more important than ever right now, when this ecosystem faces unprecedented odds. And so we have devoted this year to single-mindedly focusing on helping startups tide over the next 18-24 months, when the effects of the pandemic will be felt the strongest. 

 

Since the start of the year, over 500 startups have benefitted from  mentorships and webinar content specially created by Google mentors and collaborators. Earlier in the year, we joined forces with our mentors and ecosystem collaborators to launch Emerging Stronger: Playbook for Startups to face the Covid-19 Challenge, a guide accessible widely to startups all over the country, comprising actionable tips for reducing burn and lengthening runway during the pandemic.

In the same vein, we also decided to expand the scope of GFS Accelerator India, our 3 month mentorship and support program for startups, to include startups that are not only utilizing cutting edge tech but are meaningfully helping India, and potentially the world, adapt and move forward in this crisis.

After screening over 600 applicants, we have identified 20 startups, instead of our usual batch size of 10, to form the fourth class of GFS Accelerator India. These startups will receive 3 months of mentorship and support from our network of internal and external 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 at industry engagements, PR support and much more.

 

The latest batch comprises startups across key areas requiring innovation such as education, retail, mental health and wellness, healthtech,  fintech and agritech and more. A warm welcome to the Class 4 of Google for Startup Accelerator India! 

 



antwak

Experiential Micro-Video Platform by professionals for professionals for free.

BharatAgri

End-to-end decision making support for Indian Farmers.

BlackLight Games

Brings multiplayer classic games to mobile creating socially interactive and community driven experiences.

Dcoder

Dcoder is a mobile first coding platform for coders to code on the go, anytime and anywhere.

Factors.ai

Automation of marketing analytics for SMBs/enterprises with a search driven AI powered product.

Foxy.in

eCommerce 2.0 in beauty & grooming

Gram Power

Cutting edge smart metering solutions to help businesses and utilities eliminate energy losses.

InnerHour

A Tech-enabled mental health platform that supports people with their psychological needs.

Leher

A social network around LIVE video discussions.

Lokal

Local news, information and classifieds platform for non english speaking users in India.

Math Buddy

Products to help students learn Math with understanding.

Mera Cashier

Efficient SMS and automatic IVR via a vernacular based mobile app to help SMBs get their credit back from customers 5x times faster.

Mosaic Wellness

Building Direct to Consumer brands which lead Indians to live a life filled with wellness & grace.

myHQ

For the changing needs of today’s remote workforce, myHQ provides affordable, hyperlocal and flexible workspace solutions so that businesses and individuals have the choice and flexibility to work the way they like.

Navia Life Care

Digital platform for patients and providers to improve patient care, experience and outcomes.

Orowealth

Provides the building blocks for wealth management , just plug in our developer friendly, enterprise grade APIs or a full solution platform and you are good to go.

Virohan

Virohan predicts job demand for each job role across India, builds out the curriculum needed and delivers standardized training through blended and online learning, focusing on the healthcare sector and tier 2/3 employability.

Wellthy Therapeutics

A digital medicine platform with proprietary clinical intelligence at its core and with therapy area expertise, algorithms, analytics and user experience design to assist all healthcare stakeholders achieve real world clinical and business outcomes

Womaniya

Helps pregnant women get timely information about their baby growth and their body changes; get all their doubts and queries resolved by verified doctors; and connect them to other pregnant women to discuss daily issues.

ZeoAuto

Helps last mile drivers making deliveries for couriers or independent businesses save time and cost by providing them the shortest route.


Posted by Paul Ravindranath G, Program Manager, GFS Accelerator


Helping global publishers accelerate business growth


Since launching the Google News Initiative in 2018, we’ve worked with news organizations of all sizes as they’ve adapted to the challenges of an increasingly digital world, which has impacted their business models and consumer behavior. Programs like our GNI Labs have helped publishers tackle specific business challenges, like digital subscriptions, advertising and data, while tools like News Consumer Insights have helped thousands of newsrooms grow their audiences online. 


During this time, we’ve learned from our partners that the shift to digital doesn’t happen overnight. It takes months and even years of hard work to attract and develop digitally-minded talent, adopt data-driven thinking and build an audience-first culture. Through the GNI, we want to support publishers with this transition. 


That’s why today, we’re introducing a global program to help news publishers navigate the complexity of digital transformation. The GNI Digital Growth Program is a free program aimed at helping small and mid-sized news publishers around the world develop the capabilities required to accelerate the growth of their businesses online. The program is informed by the lessons learned from GNI projects and programs, and was built in collaboration with industry experts including FT Strategies, FTI Consulting and Mather Economics, plus news industry associations including INMA, Local Media Association and WAN-IFRA


The GNI Digital Growth Program will initially focus on five topic areas: Reader Revenue, Audience Development, Advertising Revenue, Data and Product. Our curriculum includes playbooks full of real-world examples, interactive exercises to help solve business problems, workshops to bring these lessons to life and Labs to provide hands-on advisory support. At first, we’re focusing on our Reader Revenue pillar, with other topic areas coming over the next few months. Participating publishers can anticipate access to:


  • A comprehensive playbook that offers publishers strategies and real-world examples to help with building and optimizing a reader revenue model 

  • A set of interactive exercises, including an Opportunity Sizing exercise to help publishers estimate their potential reader revenue opportunity, a User Funnel diagnostic to identify areas for improvement across key reader revenue performance metrics and a Goal Setting exercise to build a plan for long-term reader revenue growth

  • Workshops led by top industry experts offering business recommendations

  • GNI Labs which provide a group of publishers with personalized support and one-on-one coaching from our industry partners


Publishers can access the free playbooks and exercises at any time on our online hub. The workshops are available on a first-come-first-served basis, while Labs will be available upon application. To sign up for our first series of workshops, please visit our GNI Digital Growth Program page


This program builds on our recently launched edition in Europe. We’ve now expanded to ten languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Polish, German, Korean, Japanese and Bahasa Indonesia. And as the curriculum evolves over time, we will introduce specialty sessions for publishers, such as Print-to-Digital Transformation and Digital Startups.


Google has long invested in supporting news organizations as they adapt their business models in an evolving media landscape. That’s why widely sharing our findings with the news industry has always been a cornerstone of the Google News Initiative’s approach. Through the GNI Digital Growth Program, we look forward to working with more news companies to think differently about their digital business, unlock new revenue opportunities and build sustainable growth online.


Posted by Ben Monnie, Director of Global Partnerships Solutions, News


A look at how we treat educational, documentary, scientific, and artistic content on YouTube

We are often asked whether our policies apply to all creators consistently, or if certain channels, like those controlled by public officials, media outlets, or celebrities get exceptions. Our Community Guidelines set the rules of the road to protect the YouTube community, while providing room for a broad range of views. Our reviewers are spread around the globe and we enforce our content policies consistently regardless of the speaker, political viewpoint, their background, their position, or their affiliations.

 

However, sometimes videos that might otherwise violate our policies may be allowed to stay on YouTube if the content offers a compelling reason with visible context for viewers. We often refer to this exception as “EDSA,” which stands for “Educational, Documentary, Scientific or Artistic.”

 

To help determine whether a video might qualify for an EDSA exception, we look at multiple factors, including the video title, descriptions and the context provided in the video’s audio or imagery. These decisions are nuanced and context is important. And we know it can be tricky for creators and viewers to understand why one video stays up while another is taken down. So let’s look at a few examples: 

 

  • We do not allow content targeting minors with insults or bullying, but we may allow content that shows this as part of an educational anti-bullying campaign provided the minors are actors or their identity hidden.  

  • Hate speech and encouragement of violence violate our policies but a documentary about WWII that features speeches from Nazi leaders may be allowed if the documentary provides historical context and does not aim to support views promoted by the Third Reich. 

  • We do not allow content targeting an individual with derogatory use of slurs based on race, sexuality, religion or other protected attributes. But a comedy “roast” using these terms toward a subject who is visible as a willing participant may be allowed, as we consider this to be artistic expression. 

  • Nudity that is meant to be sexually gratifying (like pornography) is not allowed on YouTube. But there are instances where nudity can have scientific value, like a video with imagery of a  medical professional conducting a physical examination. Similarly, a photographer exhibiting nude portraits or a music video featuring nude or semi-nude dancers for artistic purposes may be allowed. 

 

We do not automatically give exceptions to a video just because it is being presented as part of a news broadcast or contains footage from a conference. The educational or documentary intent needs to be clear by providing context. For some categories -- like videos containing hate speech, graphic violence, content from violent criminal organizations, or COVID-19 medical misinformation -- we have a higher bar given the dangers they present to the public. First, we require the context to be in the imagery or audio of the video itself (having it in the title or description is not enough). Second, it has to be clear to the viewer that the creator’s aim is not to promote or support the content that violates our policies. For example, content telling people that the COVID-19 does not exist is allowed only if the content’s audio or imagery also directly refutes these claims or gives greater weight to the consensus from health and medical authorities that the claims are untrue. 

 

There are also certain types of content where we don't allow an EDSA exception under any circumstances because of the sensitivity and egregiously harmful nature of the content, or when it violates the law. For example, content that endangers children or any content with footage of deadly violence filmed by the perpetrator is not allowed on YouTube, regardless of the context. 

 

EDSA exceptions are a critical way we make sure that important speech stays on YouTube, while protecting the wider YouTube ecosystem from harmful content. We hope this explanation will help viewers and creators better understand how we make these decisions to keep educational, documentary, scientific, and artistic content thriving on YouTube. Read more about how we develop and enforce our policies here.  

 

Posted by Michael Grosack, Head of Global Content Policy, YouTube


Understanding our Play gambling policies in India

Google Play is designed to provide a safe and secure experience for our consumers while also giving developers the platform and tools they need to build sustainable businesses. Our global policies have always been designed with that goal in mind, considering the good of all our stakeholders. 


We have the same goals for our gambling policy. We don’t allow online casinos or support any unregulated gambling apps that facilitate sports betting. This includes if an app leads consumers to an external website that allows them to participate in paid tournaments to win real money or cash prizes, it is a violation of our policies. 


We have these policies to protect users from potential harm. When an app violates these policies, we notify the developer of the violation and remove the app from Google Play until the developer brings the app into compliance. And in the case where there are repeated policy violations, we may take more serious action which may include terminating Google Play Developer accounts. Our policies are applied and enforced on all developers consistently.


We actively engage with our developer community for feedback while we define and refine our policies. Together, we will continue to create a safe and secure mobile app ecosystem for everyone. For more details on our policies, please take a look at our policy page which provides more details on the types of content in which regions are permitted.


Posted by Suzanne Frey, Vice President, Product, Android Security and Privacy