With many of the affluent markets already saturated with tech, greater and greater attention is being paid to lower-income markets. Already this year, we’ve seen an affordable new Nokia phone for emerging markets and Amazon Cash, a service that makes it easier to shop on Amazon without having a debit or credit card. Today, it’s being announced that Google has finished up a beta version of a YouTube app built around users who don’t have access to fast or stable internet.
YouTube Go is now available in beta, and it’s full of features that compensate for slower internet speeds. Users will be able to download videos for offline viewing and even share them with others over Wi-Fi Direct. That will be limited to devices with Wi-Fi Direct connectivity, which is a handy bit of tech — devices can connect directly to each other using a high-speed connection, without the need for a Wi-Fi or data network. Video playback resolution can also be tied directly to internet speeds, to prioritize smooth playback over higher resolutions, which require more data to be transmitted.
For now, the YouTube Go beta is only available in India, but it could come to other emerging markets soon. With 1.3 billion people, India is by far the biggest potential growth market in tech for apps — China has a larger population, but the internet is far more heavily restricted by the government there.