News and Notes from Google India
Keep track of your favorite places and share them with friends
February 13, 2017
Is your bucket list etched in your memory, or scribbled on a dozen post-it notes scattered around your home? Have you ever promised out-of-town guests an email full of your favorite spots, only to never get around to clicking send? Starting today, you can create lists of places, share your lists with others, and follow the lists your friends and family share with you—without ever leaving the Google Maps app (Android, iOS).
Getting started is easy. Simply open the Google Maps app and find that ‘Chaat’ spot you’ve been wanting to try. Tapping on the place name and then the “Save” icon adds the place to one of several pre-set lists like “Want to Go” or “Favorites.” You can also add the restaurant to a new list that you name yourself, like “Mouth Watering Chaat.” To recall the lists you’ve created, go to Your Places (in the side menu) and then open the saved tab. Icons for the places you’ve saved to lists will appear on the map itself, so you’ll always know whether one of your must-try Chaat spots is nearby.
Because sharing is caring, we made it easy to share lists like “Best Views in Mumbai or Best restaurants in Bangalore or ten must street food places in Delhi” via text, email, social networks and popular messaging apps. Whenever friends and family come to town, tap the share button to get a link and start flexing your local knowledge muscles. Once you send a link to your out-of-towners, they can tap “Follow” to pull up the list from Your Places whenever they need it. Here’s how it all works in real life:
The lists you follow are with you wherever you take Google Maps and are viewable on mobile and desktop—and even offline. Next time you're on a trip, download offline maps of the area in advance and you'll be able to see all the places you’ve added to lists on the map itself.
With the millions of landmarks, businesses and other points of interest in Google Maps, there’s no shortage of places to try. Now that we’ve got the world mapped, it’s your turn to map
world with Lists—from local hotspots to bucket list destinations worlds away.
Posted by Sanket Gupta, Program Manager, Google Maps
Lists on Maps
Experience virtual reality on the web with Chrome
February 10, 2017
Virtual reality (VR) lets you tour the Turkish palace featured in “Die Another Day,” learn about life in a Syrian refugee camp firsthand, and walk through your dream home right from your living room. With the latest version of Chrome, we’re bringing VR to the web—making it as easy to step inside Air Force One as it is to access your favorite webpage.
For a fully immersive experience, use Chrome with your
—just browse to a VR experience you want to view, choose to enter VR, and put the phone in your Daydream View headset. If you don’t have a headset you can view VR content on any phone or desktop computer and interact using your finger or mouse.
You can already try out some great VR-enabled sites, with more coming soon. For example, explore the intersection of humans, nature and technology in the interactive documentary
. Questioning how we see the world through the lens of technology, this story blurs the lines between the wild world and the wired one.
of 300,000+ celebrity homes, museums, canyons, iconic architecture and other real places.
Watch more than two dozen award-winning VR films with
—from gripping tales set in worlds of pure imagination to documentaries taking you further inside the news than ever before.
Discover more than a million stunning 3D scenes in VR with
, from your favorite anime and video game characters to famous works of art. Join the community and contribute your own creations, or just enjoy and share your favorites.
Experiment and play in the
from PlayCanvas. Try teleporting around the space or playing a record with your Daydream controller.
We want to bring VR to everyone on any device, and in the coming months we’ll add support for more headsets, including Google Cardboard. Try out these VR-enabled sites to be one of the first to experience the magic of VR on the web.
Posted by, Megan Lindsay, Product Manager and collector of VR headsets, Chrome
Products - Chrome
Products - Google VR
Introducing Google Developers India: A local Youtube Channel for India’s mobile development revolution
February 8, 2017
Today, we're launching the
Google Developers India channel
: a brand new Youtube channel tailored for Indian Developers. The channel will include original content like interviews with local experts, developer spotlights, technical tutorials and even complete Android courses that will help you be a successful developer.
By 2018, India will have the largest developer base in the world with over
4 million developers
. Our initiative to train 2 million Indian developers, along with the tremendous popularity of mobile development in the country and the desire to build better mobile apps, will be best catered by an India-specific developers channel featuring Indian developers, influencers, and experts.
Google Developers India Teaser Trailer
Here is a taste of what’s to come in 2017:
Advice from India’s top developers, influencers and tech experts.
Inspirational stories of Indian developers.
A weekly show that will keep new and seasoned developers updated on all the news, trainings, and API’s from Google.
Skilled to Scaled:
A real life developer journey that takes us from the germination of an idea for an app, all the way to monetizing it on Google Play.
So what’s next?
The channel is live now. Click
to check it out.
Posted By, Peter Lubbers, Senior Program Manager
Mobile Live Streaming + Super Chat = Live (Streaming) the Dream
February 7, 2017
A huge focus for us here at YouTube is to find new ways to let creators and viewers interact with each other and the videos they watch. And that's why we’ve supported live streaming since, well, before Beyoncé even had a baby – way back in 2011! And in 2016, we witnessed the most-viewed political live streams of all time – the 2016 U.S. presidential debates – and we launched the world’s first 360-degree live streaming support with full 4k video, at scale and for free.
So what’s next? The roll out of our new
mobile live streaming
feature to every creator with more than 10,000 subscribers (the rest of you will have it soon!). It’s a launch that’ll put the power of live streaming in the hands of hundreds of thousands of talented creators, giving them a more intimate and spontaneous way to share their thoughts, lives, and creativity.
Mobile live streaming has been built directly into the YouTube mobile app. All you have to do to start streaming is open YouTube, hit the capture button, and you’re live! Streamed videos will have all the same features as regular YouTube videos. They can be searched for, found via recommendations or playlists, and protected from unauthorized use. Our mobile live streaming uses YouTube’s rock-solid infrastructure, meaning it’ll be fast and reliable, just the YouTube you know and love. And we’ve been working hand-in-hand with hundreds of creators to refine the mobile streaming experience while they
stream from a boat
take live calls from their fans
. Based on their feedback, we did things like slowing down live chat (it turns out receiving 2,000 messages per second is a little too fast!) and pushing for better streaming quality across devices.
Show me the money
To help creators earn revenue from live streaming, we’re also excited to launch
, a new live stream monetization tool available to creators in more than
(and viewers in more than
). Super Chat is like paying for that front-row seat in the digital age: it lets any fan watching a live stream stand out from the crowd and get a creator’s attention by purchasing chat messages that are highlighted in bright colors and stay pinned to the top of the chat window for up to five hours. Super Chat gives viewers a chance to add a little visual flair to their chats and gives creators a new way to keep connected to their fans while earning a little money on the side, let’s say for example, while
shopping at Target
playing video games
Stream you soon. :-)
Posted by Product Managers Barbara Macdonald, recently streamed a
, and Kurt Wilms, recently watched "
Bored at Target
Web Rangers: Meet the young ambassadors of Safe Surfing
February 7, 2017
Every year, we celebrate
Safer Internet Day
, to raise awareness around online safety and promote safe and positive use of digital technologies among users. This year, in India, we are dedicating the ‘Safer Internet Day’ to the efforts of thousand of young kids from across the country who with their creative submissions - involving lots of effort and many amazing ideas - helped us spread the message of internet safety and good digital citizenship.
Three months ago, we invited teenagers to join the select club of Web Rangers- guardians of the Internet galaxy chosen from across the globe. Since then, we’ve held workshops in multiple cities across the country where teens learned about safer and smarter Internet use, and how to spread the word creatively on the Internet. The Web Rangers contest is a platform to enable these young adults to become good digital citizens and empower their friends and families to have a safer and meaningful digital experience.
Today, we are felicitating winners of the second edition of the Web Rangers contest. This year, we had submissions from thousands of students from over 500 schools, including government schools, across 40 cities.
To provide kids across age-groups an equal opportunity to present their creative ideas, this year's competition saw submissions in three different categories of a campaign, a project and poster making. Winners in each of these categories stand to win Chromebooks and tablets.
The five fabulous winners this year are:
Web Ranger #1 Ashutosh Sahni
Spreading awareness and making people realize how unsafe they actually are in this Cyber world, he conceptualized and successfully executed an interesting mix of social and offline campaign,
involving outreach on social media platforms, quizzes, slogans, daily tips, videos, sessions around Internet safety and even road rallies to spread the message.
Web Ranger #2 - Krishna Pandit
Krishna is committed to build “A Smarter Internet World” and for the purpose he has created an Android app,
, to better connect and help users spread the word about internet safety. The
features, voice integration alongwith options like ‘Tutorians” and “Reportians” to share information and report any cyber safety related issues. In addition, “Transian”, “Passwordian” and “‘Savian” features on the app will help users translate content, generate passwords, and also keep their existing passwords safe.
Web Rangers #3 Arnav Nagpal
Internet is not what we think it is and what we see! And Do you click on websites prompts without carefully looking at it- Think Again. Here’s one of our Web Rangers Arnav beautifully explaining the two sides of the internet - Our side (Users) and Their side (Creators) and how you can avoid any outside threats from malicious content, prompts, hackers and viruses.
Web Ranger #4 Nitika Garuda
Inspiring young internet users to stand up against the rising threats on the internet, is a creative depiction by Nikita themed “Raise a hand against Cybercrime”
Web Rangers #5 Sarthak Gupta
Do you think a ‘short and simple’ password is safe enough? Think again. Sarthak Gupta with his colorful submission teaches us the basic tips to be safe on the internet by having strong passwords, active firewall and avoiding clicks on untrusted websites or links.
Additionally, in India, where several new users are coming online everyday, we have been working on multiple initiatives to raise awareness about internet safety.
In the last one year, we have conducted a national train-the-trainer program for consumer activists from 20+ states in New Delhi in collaboration with consumer voice. Over 1000 trainers from 24 states comprising of consumer activists, lawyers, students and IT professionals were trained on the basics of internet safety. Most recently we created an internet safety curriculum that will be integrated in the formal school curriculum in Goa. So far we have trained 460 teachers across the state and 80,000+ students will be trained on internet safety each year.
We will continue to work on ways to give users a safe and trusted online experience. But there's also a lot that you can do to protect yourself. Today, on
Safer Internet Day
, take a quick
, an easy way to review and manage your Google Account’s security settings and keep your Google Account even more secure by visiting
A big thanks to all the finalists for sharing their creativity with us. And huge congratulations to our winners. These brand ambassadors of “safer internet” teach us something new every day.
Posted by Sunita Mohanty, Director, Trust and Safety
How we fought bad ads, sites and scammers in 2016
January 30, 2017
A free and open web is a vital resource for people and businesses around the world. And ads play a key role in ensuring you have access to accurate, quality information online. But bad ads can ruin the online experience for everyone. They promote illegal products and unrealistic offers. They can trick people into sharing personal information and infect devices with harmful software. Ultimately, bad ads pose a threat to users, Google’s partners, and the sustainability of the open web itself.
We have a strict set of
that govern the types of ads we do and don’t allow on Google in order to protect people from misleading, inappropriate, or harmful ads. And we have a team of engineers, policy experts, product managers and others who are waging a daily fight against bad actors.
Over the years
, this commitment has made the web a better place for you—and a worse place for those who seek to abuse advertising systems for their own gain.
In 2016, we took down 1.7 billion ads that violated our advertising policies, more than double the amount of bad ads we took down in 2015. If you spent one second taking down each of those bad ads, it’d take you more than 50 years to finish. But our technology is built to work much faster.
Last year, we did two key things to take down more bad ads. First, we expanded our policies to better protect users from misleading and predatory offers. For example,
we introduced a policy to ban ads for payday loans, which often result in unaffordable payments and high default rates for users.
In the six months since launching this policy, we disabled more than 5 million payday loan ads.
Second, we beefed up our technology so we can spot and disable bad ads even faster. For example, “trick to click" ads often appear as system warnings to deceive users into clicking on them, not realizing they are often downloading harmful software or malware.
In 2016, our systems detected and disabled a total of 112 million ads for “trick to click,” 6X more than in 2015.
Here are a few more examples of bad ads we took action against in 2016:
Ads for illegal products
Some of the most common bad ads we find online are ads promoting illegal activities or products. Although we've long had a policy against bad ads for pharmaceuticals, last year our systems detected an increase online.
We disabled more than 68 million bad ads for healthcare violations, up from 12.5 million in 2015.
Similarly, we saw more attempts to advertise gambling-related promotions without proper authorization from regulators in the countries they operate.
We took down more than 17 million bad ads for illegal gambling violations in 2016.
We don't want you to feel misled by ads that we deliver, so we require our advertisers to provide upfront information for people make informed decisions. Some ads try to drive clicks and views by intentionally misleading people with false information like asking, “Are you at risk for this rare, skin-eating disease?” or offering miracle cures like a pill that will help you lose 50 pounds in three days without lifting a finger.
In 2016, we took down nearly 80 million bad ads for deceiving, misleading and shocking users.
Bad ads on mobile
If you’ve ever been on your phone and suddenly, without warning, ended up in the app store downloading an app you’ve never heard of, a “self-clicking ad” could be to blame. In 2015, we disabled only a few thousand of these bad ads, but
in 2016, our systems detected and disabled more than 23,000 self-clicking ads on our platforms, a huge increase year over year.
Ads trying to game the system
Bad actors know that ads for certain products—like weight-loss supplements or payday loans—aren’t allowed by Google's policies, so they try to trick our systems into letting them through.
Last year, we took down almost 7 million bad ads for intentionally attempting to trick our detection systems.
In 2016, we saw the rise of
, a new type of scammer that tries to game our system by pretending to be news. Cloakers often take advantage of timely topics—a government election, a trending news story or a popular celebrity—and their ads can look like headlines on a news website. But when people click on that story about Ellen DeGeneres and aliens, they go to a site selling weight-loss products, not a news story.
To fight cloakers, we take down the scammers themselves, and prevent them from advertising with us again.
In 2016, we suspended more than 1,300 accounts for tabloid cloaking.
Unfortunately, this type of bad ad is gaining in popularity because people are clicking on them. And a handful of scammers can pump out a lot of bad ads: During a single sweep for tabloid cloaking in December 2016, we took down 22 cloakers that were responsible for ads seen more than 20 million times by people online in a single week.
Promoting and profiting from bad sites
When we find ads that violate our policies, we block the ad or the advertiser, depending on the violation. But sometimes we also need to suspend the website promoted in the ad (the site people see after they click on it). So, for example, while we disabled more than 5 million payday loan ads last year, we also took action on 8,000 sites promoting payday loans.
Here are some examples of common policy violations we saw among
We took action on 47,000 sites for promoting content and products related to weight-loss scams.
We took action on more than 15,000 sites for unwanted software and disabled 900,000 ads for containing malware.
And we suspended around 6,000 sites and 6,000 accounts for attempting to advertise counterfeit goods, like imitation designer watches.
Publishers and website owners use our AdSense platform to make money by running ads on their sites and content, so we have strict policies in place to keep Google's content and search networks safe and clean for our advertisers, users and publishers. When a publisher violates our policies, we may stop showing ads on their site, or even terminate their account.
We've had long-standing policies prohibiting AdSense publishers from running ads on sites that help people deceive others, like a site where you buy fake diplomas or plagiarized term papers. In November, we expanded on these policies, introducing a new
AdSense misrepresentative content
policy, that helps us to take action against website owners misrepresenting who they are and that deceive people with their content. From November to December 2016, we reviewed 550 sites that were suspected of misrepresenting content to users, including impersonating news organizations. We took action against 340 of them for violating our policies, both misrepresentation and other offenses, and nearly 200 publishers were kicked out of our network permanently.
In addition to all the above, we support industry efforts like the
Coalition for Better Ads
to protect people from bad experiences across the web. While we took down more bad ads in 2016 than ever before, the battle doesn’t end here. As we invest in better detection, the scammers invest in more elaborate attempts to trick our systems. Continuing to find and fight them is essential to protecting people online and ensuring you get the very best from the open web.
Posted by, Scott Spencer, Director of Product Management, Sustainable Ads
Google Ads Policy
Fueling growth for India’s Small and Medium Businesses
January 4, 2017
GoCoop envisioned creating India’s largest artisan directory and connecting them directly with buyers from across the world
Maganlal Dresswalla is a 100-year old Mumbai based costumier who wanted to accelerate and cater to newer audiences
Walnut, a personal finance app, had the opportunity to scale overnight from 2 million to 5 million when the Indian demonetization drive started in November 2016
For these and millions of small businesses across India, digital offers a powerful platform to transform and accelerate growth.
At Google, we believe that as Indian small businesses chart their growth journey, technology is playing a pivotal role in helping them explore new markets, engage different audiences and compete more effectively. And our focus is to enable them with the right skills and tools to help them digitize and leverage the full power of the internet.
In our joint research study with KPMG, we find that rising internet penetration and greater uptake of digital by SMBs in India could help increase their contribution to India’s GDP from the current 37.5% to to 46-48% by 2020. Ascertaining the benefits of going digital for small businesses, it determines that profits of digitally engaged SMBs grow twice as fast compared to offline SMBs. Likewise digitally engaged businesses are able to grow their customer base significantly with 52% catering to customers beyond their home city versus only 29% offline SMBs. However, the study found that 68% Indian SMBs are still offline due to a lack of understanding of the benefits of digital technologies and technical skills to get them online.
At Google, we believe that the Internet is just as much for the established local merchant as it is for the new-age startup. Further, with the Internet, the smallest business can become the largest business in the blink of an eye. And therefore, today we are launching a large scale training program for Indian SMBs - Digital Unlocked. With this program, we envisage making quality training in going digital available to every single small business in India that wants it.
In keeping with the varied learning needs of the millions of businesses in India, we’ve built this program across online, offline and mobile. The offline training is being conducted in partnership with FICCI and over the next three years, 5,000 workshops will be held across 40 Indian cities.
The online training comprises a set of 90 self-paced video tutorials, curated specifically for India and is available free of charge at g.co/digitalunlocked. The tutorials cover a comprehensive set of topics ranging from building a web presence and driving online growth to reaching customers over mobile and video digital and email marketing to social media. The trainings are certified by Google, Indian School of Business and FICCI.
Further, for India’s mobile-first audience, Google also launched Primer, a
free mobile app uniquely designed to teach digital marketing skills in a quick, easy and interactive way. It is available for download through the
iOS app store
. Primer also works offline and is currently available in English and Hindi with Tamil, Telugu and Marathi versions coming shortly.
We recognize that having digital skills is a good starting point, but businesses also need a robust online identity to connect with consumers and convert their interest into action. And therefore, today, we are previewing My Business Websites with the intent of equipping the vast majority of small businesses with a simple way to start their digital journey by creating a free, mobile optimised website, easily and instantly. Available for Google My Business users later in the year, this new feature will provide simple, templated and editable websites for small businesses created from the information and photos provided by them on Google Maps. My Business Websites will be available in English, Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Kannada, and Malayalam.
In 2015, we launched our first initiative to partner Indian SMBs on their digital journey. And over the last year, we have engaged 8 million small businesses by helping them find and grow their online presence, benefitting from the innovations offered by Google Search and Google Maps.
We are excited about our next steps forward in our journey, that will enable every business, everywhere in India to open their doors to digital with the tools, training and support needed to grow and transform their business.
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