Nigerians Can Now View YouTube Offline, Courtesy Google
On his first visit to Nigeria, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, came bearing gifts.
Pichai attended a Google For Nigeria event in Lagos yesterday (July 27) as the company launched a range of new products, including YouTube Go, an “offline first” version of the video sharing platform for users with slow internet connections. YouTube Go will allow users preview and download videos, rather than stream, and essentially save on data costs.
Nigerian video content, led by the burgeoning Nollywood film industry and ‘Afrobeats’ pop stars, is extremely popular, but with slow and expensive internet access, some Nigerians limit their online viewing to the workplace where connections might be better.
It’s certainly not lacking in potential. Even though Nigeria’s internet subscriber base has shrunk over the past year due to a regulatory clampdown on unregistered sim cards, the country still has over 91 million mobile internet users, according to regulators.
However, that vast user base is largely undermined by unreliable connections across the country. Nigeria has some of the slowest internet speeds of the major economies in Africa.
Google is betting on its new data-friendly version of YouTube to help local users navigate that problem. Nigeria will become the second country where the app been launched after a beta launch later this year. YouTube Go was first launched in India in April.
Google street view is now also available in Nigeria.
Google Street View allows people explore world landmarks, discover natural wonders, and step inside locations such as museums, arenas, restaurants, and small businesses from the comfort of their homes. Basically, allowing you experience places before visiting them.
On September 1, 2009, Google started started collecting images in Africa spanning South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana, Egypt, Ghana, Senegal and Uganda. Now, the Nigerian coverage, which was scheduled for 2017, has started. Google announced this at the Google for Nigeria event, which has Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, in attendance.