There are several ways we consume news online: Reading them on online publications or watching videos posted on social media or videos posted on social media or massive video repositories.
YouTube is undoubtedly the largest online video platform we have currently with over 1.5 billion monthly active users. People use YouTube to catch up with content from their favourite channels but also, people can catch up with information like the latest news.
Google announced that they are investing $25 million (Kshs 2.5 billion) in expanding the news ecosystem with a special focus on YouTube. Google improved Google News recently where they emphasized on authoritative results over such factors as freshness or relevancy.
Now YouTube has a new feature, Top News which is a ‘shelf’ that highlights videos from news sources in search results. Breaking News shelf will show videos from news organizations about an event directly on the YouTube homepage. This will make it easy for people to catch up with authoritative news from news sources on YouTube, which is great for the platform.
The $25 million investment will be focused on three areas:
- Expertise where the Google News Initiative (GNI) will establish a working group with news organizations to develop new product features, tackle emerging challenges and improve the news experience on YouTube
- Support where GNI will expand the team focused on supporting news publishers
- Innovation Funding where GNI will provide funding across approximately 20 global markets to support news organizations in building sustainable video operations.
Google says that Top news and Breaking News were launched in 17 countries which include South Africa Nigeria, US, UK, France, Italy, Japan, India, Mexico, Brazil and more.
“We remain committed to working with the journalism community to build a more sustainable video ecosystem for news organizations. We know there is a lot of work to do, but we’re eager to provide a better experience to users who come to YouTube every day to learn more about what is happening in the world from a diversity of sources,” says Neal Mohan, Chief Product Officer a YouTube.
It is commendable that Google wants to make YouTube the to-go place for breaking news and top news and this is encroaching on Twitter’s territory where this happens quite naturally and organically.