Alphabet’s video platform YouTube has “extraordinary momentum” in Asia Pacific, both in terms of the number of users and how frequently they use the service, according to a senior executive.
India, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam.
“All of them (have) year-on-year growth levels that are very high double digits, or, in some cases, triple digits annual growth,” Vidyasagar told CNBC’s Nancy Hungerford at the APOS conference in Bali, Indonesia. “Mobile consumption, actually, really started showing up as a game-changer from this region.”
Asia is home to some of the largest smartphone markets in the world, including India and Indonesia. Moreover, the development of high-speed mobile internet connections have also made video content more accessible to users than in the past, where most people watched television instead.
YouTube has more than a billion users worldwide.
According to Vidyasagar, the first two markets in the world that turned to mobile ahead of desktop consumption of videos were actually Japan and South Korea. But others are catching up, he added.
“Over the last few years, what we’ve seen in markets like India is truly astounding,” he said. “India today has nearly 85% of its volume consumed through mobile devices. We, last year, saw nearly a very, very high triple digit growth on mobile — on top of that very high volume.”
The same is true for Southeast Asia, in markets like Thailand and Indonesia, he added.
That said, in recent years, social platforms like YouTube and others have come under regulatory scrutiny to monitor the spread of hate speech, misinformation and other kinds of banned content on their platforms.
In India, for example, a state court ordered the federal government to ban the popular Chinese video sharing app TikTok, saying it was encouraging pornography, Reuters reported. TikTok has been downloaded by nearly 300 million users so far in India, and the ban puts more than 250 jobs at risk, according to the news agency.
To live up to regulatory standards, companies like YouTube and social networking giant Facebook use a variety of tools, including artificial intelligence, to detect the presence of controversial materials on their sites.
Vidyasagar said both YouTube and Google have invested extensively in technologies like machine learning and in people, as well as implemented tools and policies, to meet regulatory standards.
“We need a mix of both machine and human interference to come together here,” he added.
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