Google India has taken the initiative of working with various stake holders of the internet eco system in India to grow Indian Languages on the internet. Through this effort, India is expected to from the internet user base from the current 250 million to 500 million by 2017, a majority of whom will be from mobile internet users.
Indian Language Internet Alliance (ILIA) has been formed to grow the usage of Indic on the internet. It is represented by content publishers (newspapers, pure online players like Oneindia), technology companies, advertising agencies, policy makers, startups in the Indic space and many more.
What will it take to achieve ILIA’s Vision
- Enable seamless Indic input and user generated content e.g., Keyboards, Translation/Transliteration, Voice Input etc.
- Enable an end-to-end Indic experience e.g., Indic OS/phone
- Provide technical expertise and tools to help Indic publishers create online content optimized for mobile screens and search engine indexing
- Help publishers monetize to build sustainable online businesses by building out
the digital advertising ecosystem in Indian languages
- Help shape the thinking around the E-Bhasha initiative
- Partner with the government around the 3 pillars of E-Bhasha: E-Governance, E-Education and Culture
- Enable discoverability of Indic content e.g., Search, Aggregation, etc.
- Help Indic start-ups access both financial and non-financial resources to scale
In India about 200 million speak English and 450 million speak Hindi. The growth of English language on the internet is saturating, the next big growth can come only from Indian languages. Focus on Hindi to start with, and build a successful template that can then be replicated across all other languages.
A new Hindi internet user may not know from where to begin his surfing journey, HindiWeb.com could be a good starting point. Similar sites will be released for other languages.
Using keyboard has been a challenge for Indian language users. Google has just come out with Hindi voice search, this should increase the usage of Hindi on their search engine.
SWAT teams have been formed to tackle important tasks,
- Fonts & Tools
- Content (Creation, Discoverability & Monetization)
- Publicity – Work with ILIA members who own Media properties to build mass awareness
- Government Relations
- Access – Pre-install Hindi content and fonts on existing phone models
- Alliance Management – Manage meeting logistics and coordination between Swat Teams
To me personally wider, faster internet access and discoverability on Google are the biggest issues. Revenue will increase once brands see the usage of Indic is far higher than English on the internet.
- What Google’s Indian Language Internet Alliance needs to do
- Google, Facebook look beyond urban, English users to increase reach
- How Google’s Amitabh Kumar Singhal plans to increase Indian Internet users to 500 million by 2017
- Important to get vernacular content online: Nielsen India
Few old articles on this blog about this subject,