Thursday, October 6, 2011

YouTube.CO.KE: YouTube Launches in Kenya

This is cool. Just a month after launching KBO.CO.KE, Google has now launched YouTube.co.ke. for Kenyan users. Kenyans are increasingly using YouTube to watch music videos, local political commentaries, news clips and thousands of content uploaded by Kenyans.

Users who visit the Youtube.co.ke Kenyan domain will immediately see the most popular videos in Kenya and local content that matches their interests.


Kenyans have long been good bloggers but the advent of mobile and increased broadband access has also facilitated the creation and rapid growth of video content. Kenyans now stream every facet of their life's experiences on Youtube, from football matches to accidents to brawls. YouTube has provided this new emerging tech hub a great channel for expression.

 In fact according to Alexa, Youtube is the fifth most trafficked website by Kenya's 10 million internet users after Facebook, Google.com Google.co.ke and Yahoo.

The launch of YouTube.co.ke is therefore a big step forward for Google in meeting the pre-existing demand for video content in the Kenyan online marketplace. It's also a boost for local content in Kenya and for Kenya's .KE namespace. In June this year, Google signed a strategic partnership with KENIC to grow the number of .KE domain names being registered and help make the internet an integral part of the daily life for Kenyans. KBO.CO.KE and youtube.co.ke shows the huge steps Google is willing to take in its strategic vision of getting more Africans online and organizing information so that's it's most relevant to Africans. Google's strategic vision for Africa involves:
  • Reducing access as a barrier to all potential users
  • Making the Internet relevant and useful to Africans
  • Helping strengthen an Internet ecosystem in Africa that is vibrant, and sustainable and self-sufficient in the long-term

The launch of Youtube.co.ke and KBO.co.ke also comes after the launch of other programs like Google Baraza, an online space where Africans can ask questions and post answers to others; Google SMS Services to tap into the hundreds of millions of Africa who are on mobile; the launch of Umbono, a tech incubator in South Africa plus many more. 




From Google blog:


We are very excited to announce the launch of http://www.youtube.co.ke, a Kenyan version of YouTube. The goal is to give Kenyans an easy way to discover local content and content producers. This means that when users visit the Kenyan domain, they will immediately see the most popular videos in Kenya and local content that matches their interests.

Alongside this launch, we have partnered with local broadcasters and producers to bring content ranging from KBC and NTV news segments to HomeBoyz produced Tinga Tinga Tales to a global audience. To find out more about partnering with YouTube, take a look at our partner resources.

If your internet is slow, try out YouTube Feather. This beta offering helps to ensure that those with low-speed Internet connections can play videos faster. We also have a Swahili version of YouTube that is easily accessible by scrolling to the bottom of the YouTube homepage, clicking “language” and choosing Kiswahili.

We’re very much looking forward to working with Kenyan users and partners to enrich the diversity of the YouTube community and bring more Kenyan content to the web.

Here is a mashup video that celebrates some of the current Kenyan content on YouTube:


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