Friday, October 19, 2007

YouTube now knows Chinese

One of the hottest news talked about online in the past few days in Hong Kong and Taiwan was that YouTube has just launched it's localized sites for Taiwan and Hong Kong.

I checked them out. It's pretty much just a translated version of the original interface, but I guess it's less intimidating for people who don't read English that well to use it. Words such as categories, channels, community, views, share, my favorite, tag, sort......are translated into traditional Chinese. On the front page, there are featured videos that, according to Steve Chen himself, are selected by their team.

The database is still the same, you can still find clips from other countries if you do a search on the HK or Taiwan site. However, the order of the search results may differ from the US site. They will give local content priority.

Netizens in Taiwan particularly welcome this move by YouTube since up until now, the market for video sharing platform was dominated by Yahoo, and they feel that this should infuse some healthy competition. Not much noise from the users in HK, although they have uploaded a huge amount of clips.

When asked if YouTube is eyeing Mainland and planning to do a simplified version, Steve Chen gave a generic answer: need to check out the legal requirements first.

Interestingly, on the Taiwan site, you can see a tiny little national flag on the upper right hand corner, which is a big taboo for the mainland government. This may have something to do with users in China being unable to go to that site.


No comments: