The biggest video-sharing platform in the world, YouTube, has taken steps to add multiple regional languages to its videos in India. Given the multi-lingual nature of Indian society, YouTube is looking to make its videos more inclusive.

At the Google for India event, it was revealed that the company is testing a new feature that allows users to switch between audio tracks in many languages. The new feature will primarily target health-related videos on YouTube, with the possibility of expanding to other kinds of content.

At the event, Ishan John Chatterjee, the director of YouTube India, stated that “Video is a particularly efficient strategy for disseminating health information in a way that is understandable and accessible to everyone, not just a professional audience. We want to help truly democratize important health information”. For the time being, this feature is only available with a set of healthcare videos with language support for English, Hindi, Marathi, and Punjabi.

The importance of including multilingual content

Many bigger brands are increasing multilingual content on their platforms. This not only makes content more accessible but also opens new opportunities. Multilingual content helps to identify regional or global diversity, and messages targeted at a cultural group can build trust and brand awareness. Better and easier access is made possible for people who speak multiple languages due to inclusive marketing.

YouTube’s multiple-language feature is feasible

A subtitle option is already provided by YouTube. It can be added manually to a video or YouTube can generate automated captions, though automated captions can often be wrong or inconsistent. Hiring translation services or having video producers create and upload captions themselves adds to the cost and time needed to produce videos. But adding features like multiple languages and the ability to switch audio tracks will attract more users and developing multilingual YouTube channels is a smart strategy for reaching more customers and potential clients in their native language. Producing more content will take extra time and money, so content creators will want to make sure there is a return on their investment.

YouTube is collaborating with other healthcare-related businesses in India, such as Narayana, Manipal, Medanta, and Shalby, to commission content in a variety of languages, including English, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Gujarati, and Bengali.

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Outlook

The addition of more regional languages will attract larger engagement, mainly from rural areas. Engaged viewers are more likely to like, comment, and share the videos. They are also more likely to become subscribers and increase the retention rate. This will help YouTube to strengthen its roots in India in the long term.