YouTube is bringing greater transparency and context for news content in India

YouTube has introduced several features to deliver an enhanced news viewing experience.

With the dramatic rise of mobile internet users and availability of low-cost data plans in India, it was natural to witness the tremendous rise in viewership on YouTube. According to the video broadcasting platform, “watch-time of India’s authoritative news sources has more than tripled over the past two years.” To cater to this growing audience, YouTube is implementing a few updates and features.

The YouTube app logo is seen on a smartphone. Reuters

The YouTube app logo is seen on a smartphone. Image: Reuters.

Easy access to authoritative sources

When it comes to reading news or watching them live, users will always prefer authoritative news sources. YouTube claims to be have been working on new features to make such sources appear more frequently across its platform. A Top News shelf will highlights videos from authoritative news sources in the search results. The regular search results will be listed below this shelf. YouTube is also adding a Breaking News shelf on the homepage that will list down videos around a current global or local event.

Top News & Breaking News. Image: YouTube.

Top News & Breaking News. Image: YouTube.

Fact checking

Fake news is a problem and all major tech companies are working to fight against it. YouTube has introduced fact checking panels by eligible publishers from India. Fact checking is limited to English and Hindi for now. Google follows the open source ClaimReview markup process to vet the credibility of news. From now onwards, eligible publishers posting fact checking articles will be listed in YouTube as well.

 Fact Checking Integration on YouTube in English and Hindi. Image: YouTube.

Fact Checking Integration on YouTube in English and Hindi. Image: YouTube.

Information panels

YouTube is rolling out an extra information panel to be displayed in on the watch page of all the video on channels. This panel will contain details about the channel’s owner, for example, whether the news publisher is funded by a government or not. A Wikipedia page link will also be added to this panel that will allow viewers to learn more about the publisher. This will give them more clarity on the sources of the news that they will be consuming.

Apart from rolling out these helpful features for viewers, YouTube is take measures to support the news industry. It has already committed $25 million and there’s a broader $300 million investment done by the Google News initiative. Last year in December, it had announced that 87 news projects from 23 countries were funded to push better and newer video formats. 10 of these projects were from India. The company is also supporting news partners and publishers for training with the technical integrations of the platform.

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