On his first visit to Nigeria, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, came with gifts and good news. Pichai attended a Google For Nigeria event in Lagos yesterday (July 27) as the company launched a range of new products, including YouTube Go, an “offline first” version of the video sharing platform for users with slow internet connections.
YouTube Go will allow users preview and download videos, rather than stream, and essentially save on data costs. It’s aimed at Nigerians because of the poor internet speed in the country.
Nigerian video content, led by the burgeoning Nollywood film industry and ‘Afrobeats’ pop stars, is extremely popular, but with slow and expensive internet access, some Nigerians limit their online viewing to the workplace where connections might be better according to executives at online video companies like IrokoTV, reports.
It’s certainly not lacking in potential. Even though Nigeria’s internet subscriber base has shrunk over the past year due to a regulatory clampdown on unregistered sim cards, the country still has over 91 million mobile internet users, according to regulators. However, that vast user base is largely undermined by unreliable connections across the country.
Nigeria has some of the slowest internet speeds of the major economies in Africa. Google is betting on its new data-friendly version of YouTube to help local users navigate that problem. Below is the statistics that reveals how slow Nigerian internet speed is when compared to countries in the Middle East.
Nigeria will become the second country where the app been launched after a beta launch later this year. YouTube Go was first launched in India in April