YouTube continues global expansion w/ versions of its site in 7 new locales

Google has announced today that the number of countries with local versions of YouTube is growing to 85, with the additional of 7 new territories and countries. As of today, there is now a localized version of the web’s most popular video streaming site in the Adriatics, the Baltics, Bulgaria, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Belarus…

The news comes from Google’s official YouTube blog:

We want to make sure the videos you see when you fire up YouTube are relevant to you, wherever you’re watching. That’s why we’re launching even more local country versions of YouTube, connecting fans with creators in their home countries and giving those creators a way to earn money from their popularity. With the addition of the Adriatics, Baltics, Bulgaria, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Belarus, YouTube now has local versions in 85 countries.

While it’s easy to have a biased perspective on the world when you live in the US, Google says that more than 80% of YouTube’s views come from people outside the US. And with content creators and consumers speaking dozens of languages and creating an unthinkable amount of content, it makes sense to be able to connect to the community in your physical vicinity.

‘Project Watch’ & ‘Gcam’ projects detailed on new Alphabet X site, Project Aura now official

We told you a couple of weeks ago about how Google[x] recently got a new coat of paint (now under the Alphabet umbrella and simply known as “X”), and now that coat of paint has hit the web. The site has a brand new design, a new logo, and within you’ll find a rundown the group’s newly refocused mission. Additionally, the new Graduated Projects page seems to mention some projects we’re familiar with and some that we haven’t heard of previously… more…

Google opens up data on site search performance with new Analytics developer API

Have you ever wondered what the most commonly searched terms which lead to your site appearing in Google’s results are? Or maybe the top queries on mobile that lead to your site appearing in results? Well, Google has offered a Search Analytics Report in the Google Search Console for some time which provides this exact kind of data (where have you been?), and now it has created an API developers can use to play around with this data in their own apps.

It’s called the Search Analytics API and with it, developers get access to all the data on traffic that has come to them through search, and can sort it by parameters like country to gain insights into, for example, what are the top queries in India that lead to visitors.

The potential here is for developers to create graphical user interfaces to this data, so less tech savvy individuals would gain the ability to sift through their search data without needing prior knowledge on how to use an API.

Google launches annual Santa Tracker site w/ updated Android app

Google knows all, including where Santa is. I’m not just talking about on Christmas Eve, but also what he’s doing while on vacation. If you want to join in on the tracking, check out the newly updated Santa Tracker website and Android app.

Both feature a countdown to Santa taking off on Christmas Eve, when people (mostly children) can track Santa’s whereabouts as he is delivering presents all over the world via Google Maps. Until then, the updated-daily site has fun activities and information on other holidays celebrated around the world.



The updated app includes several fun games where you can earn achievements and rank on leaderboards in Play Games. There are also various festive Android Wear watchfaces featuring Santa and elves. For the first time, this year there’s also a Google Cardboard component and an Android TV app that allows you to track Santa’s journey when the countdown to Christmas Eve is finished.

To partake in the fun, head on over to the Santa Tracker website and download the app on Google Play.

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Site News: We’ve moved to Disqus commenting

Just some quick site news: We’ve moved our commenting system from native Wordpress comments to Disqus *waits for applause* …

Why?

WordPress is easier for us because it is integrated into the WYSIWYG CMS and the inline comments (vs. iframe Disqus) help with search engines (read: Google), so WordPress makes a ton of sense…on the surface.

But we’ve been seeing lower than normal engagement in the comments over the past year and the #1 reason why is that people just don’t use WordPress commenting. The #1 commenting system both in numbers and in my opinion, in features is Disqus. We love the moderation, the voting and a host of other stuff you can build when your product is comments.

We had considered using Google Plus comments but Google’s inclination to change things there without notice made it too big of a risk. Also, if Disqus is a hit here, we’d like to move it to our other sites as well which may not be as friendly to Google products. We’ve also looked at the other big commenting engines but in the end, kept coming back to Disqus. We hope it helps foster conversation here.

What do you think? (Comments below!) more…

Unreleased 5.2-inch Huawei P9 Lite with full HD screen shows up on European retailer site, priced at $305

Just under two weeks ago, we attended Huawei’s launch event for the P9 and P9 Plus. Unusually, the company didn’t use the event to show off the entire P9 range which will eventually make it to market this year. While we’re fairly certain there will be a ‘Lite’ version of the P9 (and maybe a Max too), Huawei kept quiet on those. Fortunately, it seems retailers are planning for their arrival anyway. Romanian retail site, Cel.ro had the P9 Lite listed in three different colors and priced at 1209 Romanian Leu, or around 5.

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