YouTube is officially launching a localized version of the popular video site in South Africa. This custom site will provide South Africans a unique view of the largest video sharing site in the world by focusing on content relevant to them. The launch of a South African domain (http://www.youtube.co.za) makes it much faster to locate and view videos relevant to them by tweaking the underlying algorithms that control featured videos, search results, and recommendations. This comes just as YouTube celebrates its fifth year.
YouTube currently get about 2 billion views per day, 70% of those views are from outside of the United States. It only makes sense for them to step into those locations that are feeding the site and set up locally. This new setup will give South African users more opportunity to increase exposure.
“There’s something on YouTube for everyone, from amateur to professional content, the unexpected to the emotionally affecting, the educational to the entertaining. We’re very excited to bring a local version of YouTube to South Africa and we look forward to continuing to improve the YouTube experience for our South African users.” -Chad Hurley, YouTube Co-Founder
South African video blogger KhayaV has been using YouTube since 2006. He says, “YouTube is a fascinating platform where people from different cultures and countries all over the world are active participants in a global conversation. By giving people the power to broadcast themselves, YouTube helps increase our understanding of each other, one clip at a time.”
YouTube has already secured partnership agreements with a number of South African media companies including the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and e.tv. These partners will attempt to leverage their channels on the site, possibly expanding their offerings to cover a variety of news, sport, soaps, dramas and comedies.
One major focus is to make sure the site and the videos load and play quickly for all visitors. This includes places where bandwidth may be scarce. To this end, users have the option to view YouTube using the beta interface. This cuts things down to a bare minimum to deliver videos in as small a number of bytes as possible. You can opt-in and try out Feather to see how it works.Category: News | Tags: south africa, YouTube