With the recent launch of domesticated youtube domain by search giant, Google, Kenyan users will no longer incur expensive costs of accessing and streaming international links as it will instead give them access to regionally developed content. According to Nmachi Jidenma, The Next Web’s Africa Editor for Google and Founder of Celebrating Progress Africa, through Youtube.co.ke, users would be able to discover and view Kenyan content and instantly view the most popular videos in Kenya whenever they visit the domain. In addition, users will also be able to search for video hits through the locally derived Kenyan YouTube domain. Jidenma says Kenyans with slow Internet connections also have the option of using YouTube Feather. According to Google, YouTube Feather enables users watch pages with the lowest latency possible. It achieves this by severely limiting the features available to the viewer and making use of advanced web techniques for reducing the total amount of bytes downloaded by the browser. YouTube is also currently available in Swahili and is accessible by scrolling to the bottom of the YouTube homepage, clicking “language” and choosing Kiswahili. To seed the platform, Google partnered leading Kenyan media companies including the Kenya Broadcastng Corporation and the Nation Media Group’s TV Channel, NTV Kenya. Kenya became the second African country YouTube has launched a domain for, after South Africa. The release of the friendly video-sharing website’s new domain name suffix of youtube.co.ke took place on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at a Tribe hotel in Nairobi. While Kenyans can now discover and enjoy YouTube videos from around the world, this new domain will also be geared towards providing Kenya-relevant information and education for its citizens. YouTube has continually proven to be an important resource for not just entertainment and information, but education. Some people even look to it for direction in learning or perfecting their techniques in sports, hobbies, or art—even javelin gold medalist Julius Yego turned to YouTube for guidance. YouTube plans to garner partnerships with local communities, producers, individuals, and companies to foster and support this pattern of “edutainment,” aspiring to not only make videos stream faster, but also provide all of this through a local interface that provides pertinent information for Kenyans. To learn more, check out the promo video for the launch below.
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