NEW DELHI: The lives of global advertisers seeking to reach India's fast-growing online audience may just have got a little easier with Google's introduction of a new ad product designed for consumers whose first language is Hindi.
Rajan Anandan, vice president and managing director of Google India, recently noted that most of India's English-speaking population was already online and that there were 500m Hindi speakers coming online who needed to be better served with content in their own language.
To that end, Google has partnered with publishers and technology businesses in the Indian Language Internet Alliance (ILIA) to accelerate this development, with the aim of having 300m Indian language speakers become highly engaged internet users by 2017.
It's not an entirely altruistic move as Google's launch of Hindi Ads will enable advertisers to build campaigns reaching Hindi language sites on the Google Display Network using text, image, rich media, and video display ad formats.
"We hope that this launch will give a boost to the growth of the Hindi web and will encourage the creation of a whole new wave of online Hindi content that will not only be useful to the burgeoning Hindi internet audience, but also make it easy for advertisers to market to this very important consumer base," said Dushyant Khare head of partner business solutions - India & Southeast Asia, Google.
Google's commitment to furthering the cause of the Hindi language has also included the introduction of Voice Search in Hindi and a website – www.hindiweb.com – that acts as a repository to discover the best Hindi content across websites, apps, videos and blogs for Hindi-speaking internet users.
The internet giant has been involved in similar initiatives elsewhere, most notably in the Middle East, where its Arab Web Days project has inspired users and businesses to collaborate and create online Arabic content.
Newspapers in India have also been producing more regional papers in local languages with a focus on local affairs, partly to exploit growing literacy outside metropolitan India and partly as these have been seen as less at risk from the growth of the internet than their English-language counterparts. The shelf life of that particular assumption is getting shorter.
Data sourced from IIFL; additional content by Warc staff