Friday, November 27, 2015   

See, you can learn

Tony Liaw

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Youtube rocks - for both its many lovers and haters. They number a billion and go through more than four billion hours of videos - including the occasional "Bus Uncle" and Singaporean bully bosses - each month.

But the platform has developed beyond a mere entertainment hub since it was created in 2005.

And it is now targeting what its Asia- Pacific head Adam Smith calls Generation C - a new force that is about creation and content, connection, community and curation. "For the first time, an entire generation has grown up with an unmediated relationship with content," he said. "They are defined by the internet, mobile and social networking."

This generation is so dominant in the cyber world, blurring the boundaries between TV, mobile phones, computers and tablets.

"Gen C can switch between platforms or devices some 200 times a day," Smith said. "That's how seamlessly they move around screens."

That increasingly mobile generation figures high up in the platform's priorities, of course, with people on the move making up a quarter of total views now.

But Generation C is not just made up of viewers - it is a generation of creators. "YouTube gives creators the creative freedom they won't find on any other distribution platform," Smith said.

For overnight success on a level never before conceived awaits those who come up with downright viral content. Witness Korean singer Psy or the Harlem Shake phenomenon.

And this is what YouTube hopes to facilitate. It provides various branding tools to basically start film or production careers for creators and partners.

In fact, many YouTube partners have built their businesses successfully on the platform. There are more than one million channels across the globe earning revenue through its partner program.

YouTube is also seizing opportunities on the education front, in a bid to fully utilize the resources on the multimedia platform.

YouTube Education helps people find quality videos that help learning from its partners in the teaching community.

"Videos inspire people, which is why videos remain some of the most compelling ways for Generation C to engage with the new audience," Smith said, adding that education can be very effective through videos with great content.

Users can basically find the right clips in three categories: primary and secondary education, university and lifelong learning.

Well-known partners include Duke, Harvard, Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of California, Berkeley.

There are more than 1,000 channels with 850,000 individual videos on Youtube Edu now.

Locally, YouTube started a partnership with WebOrganic in March to launch the Hong Kong Digital Academy at TheHKDigitalAcademy, the first educational channel under YouTube Edu in Hong Kong.

Supported by the Education Bureau, the collaboration makes it easier for people to access content by building a one-stop education platform for the public with quality, interactive videos.

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