YouTube launches in Nigeria
YouTube, the platform where anyone with a video camera and an internet connection can share their life, art and voice with the world, has announced the launch of YouTube in Nigeria and will be offering the most relevant content. Through local interface, YouTube Nigeria will offer informative and entertaining video content from around the world and promote content that is most relevant to Nigerians.
There is something for everyone on YouTube, as shown by individuals such as Jason Njoku, the entrepreneurial spirit behind Nollywood Love, or companies such as 37th State, which set up an urban, African culture and lifestyle channel. Nigerians now have greater flexibility to tell their stories and find videos most useful to them.
At the YouTube launch event in Lagos yesterday, 7 December 2011, YouTube's senior director of Content Partnerships: Europe, Middle East and Africa, Patrick Walker said, "With over 3 billion views a day, YouTube is the world's largest audience, and a mode of communication that allows everyone's voice to be heard". "Nigerians are passionate about music, entertainment and many other genres that YouTube offers. By launching YouTube locally, we help people to find the most popular videos in Nigeria, along with those that are rising in popularity".
Content uploaded by Nigerian users will show up as "browse pages" on the YouTube Nigeria site, creating a virtual space for the national community and giving Nigerians the opportunity to increase their exposure online.
Also at the launch event, Nollywood Love announced the launch of iRok TV, whilst Storm360 announced the launch of six new YouTube channels. 37th State announced the premiere of its first short film and documentary, Nkiru, which is to take place on 18 December 2011.
"The power of the internet presents great opportunities. YouTube gives people the power to broadcast themselves," said Obi Asika from Storm360, an entertainment company in West Africa. "Our channel has helped connect us with local and international fans and artists all over the world, and is helping us to achieve our full potential.For users with slow connections, they can use YouTube Feather for better performance".
One of YouTube's key priorities, in addition to the making the platform a comprehensive destination, is to ensure that videos load and play quickly, even in places where bandwidth is at a premium. Improving internet access remains a key priority for internet players across Africa.
In addition to the standard YouTube experience, users have the option to watch videos with YouTube Feather. This "light" version only includes the site's most basic features, to help ensure that those with low-speed Internet connections are able to play videos play faster.