Google on Tuesday said it is working to bring technology and product experiences which are locally relevant to users in India in vernacular languages.
“…the majority of Internet users today are Indian language users, a number expected to reach 500 million-plus in the next two years. [As much as] 95% of video consumption is in vernacular languages,” Rajan Anandan, vice-president, India and Southeast Asia said at an event here.
Indian content reach
With an aim to expand the reach of Indian content, the technology giant said it is working with the more than one lakh offline Indian language publishers on ‘Project Navlekha’, allowing them to start their website and publish on a branded domain.
Google Search feed will now also display users’ topics of interest and news, from both English and Hindi sources, the company said. “Search, to be truly helpful, it should bring you useful content in all the languages you understand,” Shashidhar Thakur, VP, engineering, Google Search said.
Further, Google said it had now integrated Marathi language, in addition to English and Hindi, with the Google Assistant. It has added seven more Indian languages to it. “India loves the Google Assistant. In fact, Google Assistant usage has tripled in India since last year,” the company said.
Stating that “building for India has often meant Google building for everyone all around the world,” Caesar Sengupta, VP, Next Billion Users initiative and Payments, Google said that payments app Tez had been rebranded as Google Pay. At the moment, nothing is changing about the experience in India other than the name,” he added.
Mr. Sengupta also announced that Google Station is partnering with Andhra Pradesh State FiberNet Limited to bring free public Wi-Fi to more than 12,000 villages, towns and cities in Andhra Pradesh. This will provide high-quality Internet access to potentially 10 million people.
Google.org, along with Google employees, will also be making a $1 million grant to several NGOs in India to support the relief and recovery efforts in the flood-affected regions in Kerala and Karnataka.