Google Launches YouTube Go Mobile App To Combat Slow Speeds In Nigeria

Written by Peter Pedroncelli

A specialized version of the the Google-owned online video service, called YouTube Go, has been made available to Nigerian users through the launch of a mobile app in the country.

The U.S.-based company announced that the YouTube Go app is now available for initial public download in Nigeria, according to AllAfrica.

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai and his team visited Nigeria in July to unveil a selection of products designed specifically for people in the West African nation, and one of those was a YouTube version built for Nigerians with slow internet speeds.

The specially-designed version of the online video platform allows users with slow internet to preview and save videos in various resolutions to watch later offline, saving data costs and providing a better experience regardless of speeds, according to Quartz.

The users can then watch the saved videos at a later stage without the need for an internet connection.

Johanna Wright, the vice president, product management at YouTube, announced the launch as a boost for users in Nigeria.

“YouTube Go has been designed to take into account the challenges faced by YouTube users in countries like Nigeria, such as data cost and connectivity,” Wright said, according to ITNewsAfrica.

“With YouTube Go, we are making it possible for everyone in Nigeria to be able to discover videos that they love, regardless of their network status or data consumption preferences,” she added.

“You can save videos for offline watching, and can choose what resolution video to save – basic quality or standard quality – giving you better control over how you use your precious data,” she said.

YouTube Go to assist with slow internet speeds

Nigeria is the second country to receive YouTube Go functionality after India, and is a boost for a nation that enjoys video content thanks to the popularity of sports such as soccer and a growing Nollywood film industry.

Nigeria has over 100 million internet users, with 93 million accessing content online thanks to mobile devices, but data is expensive and average internet speeds are very slow, according to Akamai.

Pichai, in his first ever visit to the country for the  Google for Nigeria event, announced plans for YouTube Go to be released in the West African nation, and it is now a reality, through an android app that can be downloaded via the Google Play Store.