Google, one of the world’s biggest tech companies, today launched new range of products in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos.
The colorful event was tagged, “Google For Nigeria,” and was attended by Google’s Chief Executive Officer, Sundar Pichai.
Said to be the first of its kind to be held on the African continent, the launch of the products demonstrated the Google’s interest in one of the world’s fastest emerging tech markets.
Mr. Pichai, who said he was in Nigeria for the first time noted Lagos reminded him so much about his home country, India.
“The city reminds me about much of India,” he began.
“Nigerians have to write software for the local economy and we have a program to train over 100,000 software developers in Nigeria.
“Also, we’re launching a launchpad accelerator in Africa starting with Nigeria too”.
The products launched included the audacious “Posts with Google,” Gboard, Google Street View, Launchpad Accelerator and the YouTube Go.
With the launch of “Posts with Google” in Lagos, Nigeria is now the third country in the world after the United States and Brazil to have it.
The audacious product enables up-to-date posts from verified people, places and or things, to appear directly in search results.
A statement by Google said, “museums, sports teams, sports leagues, and movies in the US, and all of the above plus musicians in Brazil and Nigeria are the only ones with access to the new product, however experimentation is ongoing in other regions of the world.”
Also launched was the GBoard, a designer keyboard that supports major Nigerian languages like Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba.
The new keyboard makes it easy to type in those languages with the proper alphabets readily available.
The firm also unveiled an improved search engine capable of saving 90 percent data, which is five times faster with faster web pages from search results.
Another product, the Google Street View, is a platform where users can view any location in the world in a video form from their devices.
“You can view the streets of Lagos from the comfort of your couch,” Suhen Ruhela of Google Maps said excitingly.
“Google maps are just as relevant to a user in Lagos as it is in London.”
Also launched was the YouTube Go.
According to the manufacturer, “YouTube Go was built on four pillars; it is relatable, connected, cost effective and Social.”
However, given its cost consciousness and data sensitivity, “YouTube Go will give users control over the videos they love,” the company indicated.
The video sharing site YouTube, is one of Google’s many profitable subsidiaries.
According to Caesar Sengupta, one of its senior engineers, “Google is bringing the right locally relevant to search in Nigeria. Now Nollywood is just a search away.”
Mr. Sengupta reiterated Google’s commitment to maximizing the Nigerian market base. “We’re committed to making our products accessible and useful to everyone,” he said.
Also speaking, Google Country Director for Nigeria, Juliet Ehimuan Chiazor, said Nigeria ranked number one among African users and the eighth in the world.
Other side attractions at the event was a live performance by rising Nigerian musician, Adekunle Gold and the presentation of a plaque to Popular Nigerian YouTube personality, Mark Angel Comedy for hitting one million subscribers on his YouTube account.
As part of its commitment to Nigeria and Africa, Google has trained over one million Africans in key digital skills.
Besides, the company is committing over $20 million in the next five years for nonprofit organisations in Africa.