In a new move recognizing that the Internet doesn’t exactly revolve around the U.S., YouTube has given three Asian countries brand new home pages, each of which is customized in the respective local language. While Sri Lanka and Nepal have each had YouTube for awhile, this marks the first time that those two countries will have content specifically curated for their audiences. And more exciting still, the new YouTube page in Pakistan, a country that has banned the service, is seen as a good sign for the site’s return.
As Google noted in their Asia Pacific blog yesterday, “If you’re in Nepal, Pakistan, or Sri Lanka, you’ll see a new YouTube homepage that’s customized in your local language and domain. YouTube is already available in Nepali, Sinhalese, and Urdu, and now having country-specific homepages means we can bring you the most relevant videos in a YouTube experience tailored for you.”
While the Pakistani page, YouTube.com.pk, is currently inaccessible from inside the country, Google seems confident that this will no longer be the case in the not-so-distant future. In a few weeks, the Pakistan Supreme Court is slated to determine whether to lift the current ban on YouTube, and a source tells the AFP, “We are in a very near-term sort of thing. The roadblocks have been removed.” The site was first banned after YouTube refused to remove the very controversial 2012 video, “Innocence of Muslims.”
YouTube hopes to make the “vibrant South Asian content” already on the platform more accessible and more easily discoverable by way of these new homepages, and in their blog post, the service highlights some of the most popular content in each of the three countries. The diversity of YouTube’s material is finally taking center stage across the ocean.