YouTube has launched homepages for its users in Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, with each homepage featuring a localized languages and domains.
While the video-sharing website has already been previously available in Nepali, Sinhalese and Urdu, the dedicated homepages will be bringing the most relevant videos of the website as tailored to the country's users.
Google announced the launch of the three new localized homepages through a post in the Google Asia Pacific Blog, written by YouTube Asia Pacific director of operations and content Gautam Anand. The post also stated that with the initiative, the company is hoping that more local creators, musicians and personalities from the three countries would be given the chance to reach out to audiences through YouTube.
In addition, the blog post also took a look at the top watched videos for each country.
Among the top watched YouTube videos in Nepal is the third part of the musical series "Nai Nabhannu La," which follows the journey of Rhythm, a young and talented musician, and his relationship with his mother who adopted him.
For Sri Lanka, Australia-based YouTuber Gappiya has risen in popularity among the viewers of the country. One of Gappiya's most watched videos is the "Sri Lankan Spider Man," which provides a humorous take on the everyday life of Sri Lankans.
In Pakistan, the people seemingly enjoy the music offerings of the video-sharing website the most, with one of the most popular YouTube channels being that of Coke Studio. The channel uploads videos of studio-recorded live music performances by Pakistani artists, with the tribute of Atif Aslam to the Sabri brothers' "Tajdar-e-Haram" being one of its most watched videos with 11 million views so far.
YouTube's decision to provide a homepage for users in Pakistan is interesting, to say the least, as the website has been banned in the country since 2012. The move was even reinforced early last year in February when the country's government said that the ban on YouTube would remain indefinitely.
The launch could be a positive action towards the removal of the ban, which was enforced after the American-made video entitled "Innocence of Muslims" emerged on YouTube.
The film painted the Prophet Mohammed in a negative light, which triggered massive protests among the Muslim community, including within Pakistan, where demonstrations led to the deaths of 20 people.
YouTube.com.pk, the URL of YouTube Pakistan's homepage, is currently not accessible within the country. To access the website, users in Pakistan are required to utilize proxies to bypass the ban. This could change within weeks, however, as the country's Supreme Court is preparing for a decision regarding the return of Google and its YouTube service.
The removal of YouTube's ban in Pakistan will depend on how well Google complied with the requests that were made by the telecommunications authority of Pakistan for the removal of objectionable content. It would seem that Google has acceded to the requests, though a spokesperson revealed that each request made will need to go through a review process.