Our views on the Internet and society
Discover Europe’s hidden gems with Google Maps and the Financial Times
Friday, October 30, 2015
We’re always trying to build technology that helps people access and explore the world around them, from the
in Playa Carmen. That’s why today, we’re excited to announce a partnership with the Financial Times called Hidden Cities. Hidden Cities is a FT Weekend series that combines Google technology with FT journalism. It allows readers to discover places to eat, drink, and shop in the world’s political and cultural capitals, and easily explore them using Google Maps.
We’re kicking off the series by showcasing gems off the beaten path in Brussels. Readers can expect lots of beer and chocolate recommendations from local tastemakers and FT journalists alike - including picks from master chocolatier
, brewery chief
Jean Van Roy
, and the
FT Bureau staff past and present
You can check out the online experience at
and this weekend’s FT Weekend Magazine. Look out for the next Hidden Cities installment in November, which will take users under the surface of another European capital - London.
Posted by Molly Welch, Product Marketing Manager
Opening the Biennale Arte 2015 online
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
La Biennale di Venezia has for over a century been one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world, showcasing contemporary art from around the world. For the first time, the Google Cultural Institute had the privilege of partnering with La Biennale and bringing the renowned art exhibition Biennale Arte 2015 online for everyone to see. Users can browse over 80 digital exhibitions
explore 360 degree Street View images of 71 pavilions of La Biennale at
through a dedicated
. We hope to see many of you in Venice for La Biennale, and are sure you will continue to discover new and delightful aspects of the art long after you return home.
We’ve invited Paolo Baratta, President of La Biennale di Venezia, to share his thoughts.
Our collaboration with Google started a few months ago, when la Biennale shared
of La Biennale Arte 1999 curated by Harald Szeemann on the Google Cultural Institute website. That edition of La Biennale was the first to use the spaces of the Arsenale, a historic area of Venice, which in turn gave grounds to the development of the two dimensions of the exhibit: one entrusted to the Curator nominated by La Biennale, and the other formed by the National Pavilions.
Today, after that experiment, we continue the collaboration with Google, bringing online a selection of artworks and pavilions from
Biennale Arte 2015
All The World’s Futures
, curated by Okwui Enwezor.
La Biennale has a specific role: to research and share the understanding of contemporary art. Access to the results of our research is achieved, for the most part, through our exhibitions, so encouraging access is certainly our key responsibility. Committing to new technologies that can facilitate the sharing of our work in art and architecture, and also in music and cinema, with a wider audience is therefore fundamental to our mission.
This collaboration with Google is the first, and a very important experiment, which I believe can be developed further in the future in a variety of possible if yet still unknown ways. We’ll do our best!
Combining these digital tools with a stronger editorial ability, our goal is to enhance the experience for our audience and to better the document the exhibit.
The bet we’re placing on new technology is most definitely not one that replaces the direct experience with a virtual or indirect one, but, on the contrary, one where virtual viewing is used to help enhance the in-person experience.
Posted by Paolo Baratta,
President of la Biennale di Venezia
Supporting Europe Code Week
Friday, October 23, 2015
The European Commission estimates that more than 900,000 high tech jobs will go unfilled in 2020. We want to do something about that. As part of our on-going efforts to encourage more school students to learn about computing, and to ensure that all of them have an opportunity to get the right skills, we participated in the EC initiative
Europe Code Week 2015
which took place Oct 10-18.
To kick things off we supported the ‘
’ event at the European Parliament, where students introduced coding to Members of European Parliament. We also ran office events in Brussels and Amsterdam and sent Googlers out to visit students in Ireland and Greece.
Furthermore, we provided small grants and resources to organizations running computer science outreach events: from Belgium to Bulgaria, France to Finland, and Spain to Slovakia. In Ljubljana we supported the University of Ljubljana’s “Programming for Fun” series of events, which featured opportunities for over 200 students of all ages.
School kids receive a certificate after participating in a workshop with Hackidemia Bulgaria
In Bulgaria, the Vratsa Software Development Community ran two days of workshops to inspire youth about the potentials of a career in technology. Other cool initiatives included coding
for 200 students during Coders’ Picnic by
Fundacja Nowoczesna Polska, the ‘
’ initiative in Germany,
educational robotics workshops
in Greece and the
event by Programamos.
You can read more about the grantees
. In all, we supported over 60 organizations in 24 countries to reach almost 20,000 students in just one week.
Ultimately, during Europe Code Week 2015 over 7000 events took place inspiring hundreds of thousands of students - an amazing effort! Let’s keep the momentum going. See
events page to see all the different activities still happening, and learn more about Google’s effort in computer science education at
Posted by Marielena Ivory, Pre-university Education Specialist, Europe
Follow the user - digital news in a digital world
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Carlo d’Asaro Biondo, President, EMEA Strategic Relationships at Google, gave a speech today at the
Munich Media Days Conference
, outlining the progress made by the Digital News Initiative made since April 2015, including
the launch, today, of an €150m Innovation Fund for the European news sector
. The full text of his speech is included here.
Thanks for that introduction and for having me to speak today.
It’s an honour to be here at the Munich Media Days. The theme of this conference is how the media can find success in this era of digital disruption. And the theme of this talk suggests the answer: “follow the user”.
A lot has already been said at this conference about how today’s users interact with news.
What do we know? They are moving very fast to mobile - two thirds of smartphone users are consuming news on mobile devices. They love video, they love speed. They follow the news through social channels and apps. They really dislike intrusive ads (more on that later!)
That’s a snapshot, but it illustrates the scale of the challenge that you face in imagining the future of news - and that we face too.
News is - and will remain - a hugely important part of the information eco-system. At Google we recognise that. And we want to play our part in building a successful and sustainable relationship between publishers, technology and the user. We want high quality journalism to thrive for the long term.
Today I want to update you on the progress we are making in that three-way relationship.
It was just nine months ago - not too far from here in Davos - that we met with a group of European publishers and agreed to form the Digital News Initiative, or DNI.
The goal was simple: to encourage a more sustainable news ecosystem -- and promote innovation in digital journalism -- by promoting ongoing collaboration and dialogue between the tech and news sectors.
And we agreed at the outset that this would be an open collaboration - everyone involved in Europe’s digital news industry - large or small, established or newcomer - would be welcome to participate.
I’m delighted to say that today we are working together with more than 120 European partners across the news and tech sectors, including many of the most important names in global journalism. Die Zeit, FAZ and Der Spiegel here in Germany, the Guardian, Financial Times, the BBC, The Economist, La Stampa, El Pais, Les Echos, Euronews and many, many others.
But I want to make one thing very clear. Getting involved in the Digital News Initiative is not about buying into Google’s worldview or selling your soul. There are no contracts or conditions. You can choose to get involved in any or all of the elements of the DNI. It’s open to everyone, and it is all about working together.
So, what are we working on together?
The DNI has three pillars. The first concerns Product Development. When we asked news publishers what Google could do to help build a more sustainable future for digital journalism, three words dominated their answers. Engineering and Mountain View!
When I announced the Digital News Initiative back in April, the publishers were cautious - perhaps rightly so. They wanted to see commitment to the project from the highest levels at Google. Let me quote from an article that Tony Danker, Chief Strategy Officer at the Guardian, wrote at the time:
“Can today’s initiative be a genuine partnership between Google and journalism, and thereby a tide to lift all boats? This would require Google’s leadership to see both mission and method here and to realise the real benefits for users. It would see them deploy their best engineering brains to want to fix the problem. It would result in fresh thinking within the product and engineering organisation at Google...It would see this thinking and this partnership spread globally. In short, it would mean more work in Mountain View than Brussels.”
Quite a challenge. But I firmly believe we are delivering upon it.
Over the past 6 months we have engaged in detailed discussions between publishers and Google’s best engineering and product minds to rethink the way users consume and interact with news and technology in this mobile age. The commitment goes right to the very top of Google - our new chief executive Sundar Pichai is closely involved in the project.
Two weeks ago we saw the first fruits of this collaboration when we announced a new initiative called
Accelerated Mobile Pages
, which aims to dramatically improve the performance of the mobile web.
The essence of this project is speed and openness. Today, users are increasingly consuming their news on the mobile web. But every time a mobile web page takes too long to load, potential readers will abandon it and publishers lose the opportunity to earn revenue through advertising or subscriptions.
The AMP project aims to make loading lightning fast. Under its open source framework, publishers will be able to build light-weight web pages which will still include rich content like video, graphics and ads, but will load instantly. The same code will work across multiple platforms and devices so that content can appear everywhere in an instant, no matter what type of phone or tablet you’re using.
And publishers will remain in control of their content and advertising. Publishers will continue to host their own web pages and will be able keep their choice of ad networks. It’s also a key aim of the project to support subscriptions and paywalls.
Although the conversations that led to this project started in Europe, we are pleased to have started this open-source initiative with more than 30 partners globally - including publishers like the New York Times and NewsCorp, technology platforms like Twitter and Pinterest, analytics partners like Adobe and Chartbeat, and pure digital players like Vox and Buzzfeed.
We’re just at the beginning of an exciting journey, but we expect AMPs to be live in Google Search in early 2016, and you can try out a demo right now on your phone or tablet.
into your mobile browser
You’ll see a Google Search page and then type in a popular news query like Syria or the name of one of the publications involved in the trial, for example the FAZ. You’ll see it’s very fast, that means more traffic and more opportunities for monetisation. Most importantly, it offers a great experience for the user.
is about ensuring that the World Wide Web remains fast, vibrant and compelling. And in doing so, to ensure that publishers - large and small - can have their content presented Instantly Everywhere, without having to pursue a deal with proprietary platforms.
We’ve been thrilled at the reaction we’ve had so far - we’ve had expressions of interest from hundreds of publishers and platforms around the world - and we invite others to get involved.
But don’t get too engrossed in the demo - I’ve got plenty more to tell you about!
The AMP project is just one element of a much broader conversation with publishers across a range of areas - mobile, video, monetisation and data. Some developments will be small and incremental, others we hope can be transformative. The point is that these decisions are no longer being made in a vacuum, but as a result of consultation and collaboration with news publishers.
We’re excited about the opportunities and we’ll have more to announce very soon.
Training and research
The second pillar of the DNI relates to training and research. A phrase we use very often at Google is: focus on the user and all else will follow. And of course news editors put great emphasis on a similar phrase - know your reader.
But today, simply understanding - either through gut instinct or metrics - what your readers or viewers are interested in is only half the battle. The evolution of the technology means that the way users consume, interact with and share news content has become central to the process. Journalism - and the technology that delivers the journalism to users - are two sides of the same coin.
In our conversations with publishers we’ve heard there is a great appetite in newsrooms to learn how to make the most of digital tools for journalism. And through our newly established
team we have already run training sessions for more than two thousand journalists across Europe, with newsroom visits, conferences, workshops and more.
In the course of those sessions we got great feedback from newsrooms on how we can make our tools for journalists more useful. One example is
Google Search Trends
, which allows journalists to see what readers in their country or region are searching for. The feedback we had from newsrooms was: “that’s great, but for the purpose of journalism it really needs to be up to the minute.”
So, after consultation with dozens of journalists, in June we launched real time Search Trends - and many newsrooms are now using those insights to shape and inform their journalism.
And because we’d like this kind of collaboration to go deeper, we have for the first time hired a dedicated team to work with newsrooms in Europe.
Allow me to introduce our newest News Lab recruit - Isa Sonnenfeld - who many of you will already know from her work with Twitter. Stand up Isa!
Isa will be based here in Germany in Berlin, partnering with journalism organisations such as the European Journalism Centre, the Global Editors Network and the International News Media Association to create training programmes and tools tailored to the needs of newsrooms.
Isa will be here throughout the day and would love to catch up with you in one of the breaks.
We also believe that research and measurement are vital to the future of the European news ecosystem. In order to follow the user it is very important to know what the user is doing, how his and her habits are changing. So we have been supporting the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism in its effort to produce the Digital News Report, which has quickly become the most authoritative guide to the fast changing patterns of news consumption.
Before the Reuters Institute launched the first Digital News report in 2012, much of this essential data simply didn’t exist. I’m delighted that as a result of our support the Reuters Institute has today added a further six countries to their survey - Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Turkey, Poland and Portugal - bringing the number of countries covered to twenty.
Innovation Fund launching today
The third pillar of the Digital News Initiative is the Innovation Fund. Earlier this year we announced that Google will make 150 million euros available over the next three years to support innovation in digital journalism in Europe. I’m pleased to announce that the fund OPENS TODAY for applications.
News organisations innovate every day - they start with a blank canvas and they fill it with compelling content. News is by definition innovation.
But because the machinery of getting your product out every day is complicated, it’s very hard to find the time and resources to experiment with new approaches to journalism and production.
The DNI Innovation Fund aims to tackle that problem by providing non-refundable support for projects that demonstrate new thinking in the practice of digital journalism, that promote the development of new business models or maybe even change the way users consume digital news.
The Fund is open to established publishers, online-only players, news start-ups, collaborative partnerships and individuals based in Europe. We’re looking for applications for both large and small projects. There is a Prototype track, which is open to everyone, including individuals established in the EU or EFTA, which will offer funding of up to €50.000 per project. And companies and organizations can also submit larger projects, requiring up to €1 million of funding. Projects can focus on your organisation specifically, or be collaborative with other industry players.
If you want to apply to the Innovation Fund, you can find all the details on our website
. We will make the first funds available early in the new year.
The process will be inclusive and transparent, overseen by a Council including leading players in European journalism. And let me add that there is no tie-in with any of Google’s products.
Why are we launching an Innovation Fund? It comes back to the feedback we’ve had in our many conversations with publishers. The DNI is all about collaboration and engagement - and as I have described, we think there is much that Google can do to help build a more sustainable future for journalism. But no--one has all the answers, and maybe there are solutions out there that no-one has thought of yet. The fund aims to stimulate that new thinking.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t say a word about the issue that every publisher is currently talking about - Ad blockers.
Ads are important - they have funded the news media for centuries and they fund the majority of the web today. The EU online advertising market grew to 30 billion euros in 2014. That is money that funds journalism, provides jobs and keeps internet services diverse and accessible.
But ad blockers are growing because consumers are having a bad experience with ads - people hate bad ads: ads that are intrusive, video ads that interrupt, ads that won’t get out of the way and block the content you are trying to enjoy.
We agree - consumers deserve a better ad experience. We - like many other good actors - work to remove the worst offenders. And we work on better alternatives - seamless and useful search ads and skippable ads on YouTube.
The problem is that Ad blockers that block all ads are throwing the baby out with the bathwater, threatening the livelihood of good content creators who are trying to do the right thing.
We need to find a solution -- and fast. We need to work together to create a standard for better ads online. A standard that addresses the bad ad experience that consumers are exposed to. A standard that in time will persuade consumers that they no longer need to use ad blockers.
We are committed to finding a solution that aligns the interests of advertisers, content creators and consumers, and allows readers to continue enjoying great content.
Partnership is better than dispute
The experience of the past year makes me optimistic we can do it. If you had told me twelve months ago that Google would be working together with more than 100 publishers in Europe to build a better web and a more sustainable future for the news industry I think I would have said you were dreaming.
We still have a long way to go, but I am convinced we have proven to each other - and to everyone else - that working together is much more effective than the alternatives.
Partnership is better than dispute. In a fast changing world, technology solutions are better than regulation. Making friends is so much better than making enemies.
Let’s keep going!
Posted by Al Verney, Head of Corporate Communications
Digital News Initiative
Digital News Initiative: €150m Innovation Fund now open
Thursday, October 22, 2015
In April, we launched the
Digital News Initiative
, a partnership with eleven European news organisations to support high quality journalism through technology and innovation. The initiative is open to anyone involved in Europe’s digital news industry, large or small, established or newcomer, and since launch, more than 120 organisations have signed up to participate. Today, we’re excited to open up the
DNI Innovation Fund
for applications, and we hope that many more people will get involved.
The ambition and intent of the Fund is bold: to spark new thinking, which could come from anywhere in the news ecosystem, to give news organisations - of all sizes - the space to try some new things. We’ve set aside up to €150 million for that purpose, which we’ll make available in the form of no-strings-attached awards over the next three years.
There will be at least two application rounds per year. The first one starts today, and finishes on December 4th. The next one will begin in Spring 2016 and details will be announced via the Digital News Initiative website.
Here’s a quick rundown of how the Fund works.
We’re looking for projects that demonstrate new thinking in the practice of digital journalism; that support the development of new business models, or maybe even change the way users consume digital news. Projects can be highly experimental, but must have well-defined goals and have a significant digital component. There is no requirement to use any Google products. Successful projects will show innovation and have a positive impact on the production of original digital journalism and on the future sustainability of the news business.
The Fund is open to established publishers, online-only players, news start-ups, collaborative partnerships and individuals based in the EU and EFTA countries.
There are three categories of funding available:
: open to organisations - and to individuals - that meet the eligibility criteria, and require up to €50k of funding. These projects should be very early stage, with ideas yet to be designed and assumptions yet to be tested. We will fast-track such projects and will fund 100% of the total cost.
: open to organisations that meet the eligibility criteria and require up to €300k of funding. We will accept funding requests up to 70% of the total cost of the project.
: open to organisations that meet the eligibility criteria and require more than €300k of funding. We will accept funding requests up to 70% of the total cost of the project. Funding is capped at €1 million.
Exceptions to the €1 million cap are possible for large projects that are collaborative (e.g., international, sector-wide, involving multiple organisations) or that significantly benefit the broad news ecosystem.
How to apply
Digital News Initiative website
for full details, including eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, and application forms. Applications must be made in English and the submission deadline for the first round of funding is 4th December 2015.
We’ve consulted widely to ensure that the Fund has inclusive and transparent application and selection processes. Confidentiality is critical; applicants should not share business-sensitive or highly confidential information. Full details can be found on the DNI website.
Initial selection of projects will be done by a Project team, composed of a mix of experienced industry figures and Google staff, who will review all applications for eligibility, innovation and impact. They’ll make recommendations on funding for Prototype and Medium projects to the Fund’s Council, which will have oversight of the Fund’s selection process. The Council will vote on Large projects.
Joao Palmeiro, President of the Portuguese publishers association and Chair of the DNI Innovation Fund Council
Alexander Asseily, Founder & CEO of State, Founder of Jawbone
Arianna Ciccone, Co-Founder and Director of the Perugia International Journalism Festival
Bartosz Hojka, CEO of Agora S.A.
Katharina Borchert, CEO Spiegel Online
Veit Dengler, CEO, Neue Zürcher Zeitung
Rosalia Lloret, Head of Institutional Relations, Online Publishers’ Association Europe
Bruno Patino, Dean of Sciences-Po Journalism School
Murdoch MacLennan, CEO of the Telegraph Media Group
Madhav Chinnappa, Head of Strategic Relations, News and Publishers, Google
Torsten Schuppe, Director of Marketing EMEA, Google
Ronan Harris, Vice President, Google
We will make our first awards early in 2016. We look forward to receiving your
Posted by Ludovic Blecher, DNI Innovation Fund Manager, Google
Digital News Initiative
Investing in Africa’s largest wind project
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
We’ve come a long way since we first started investing in renewable energy, committing more than $2 billion to 22 clean energy projects, and broadening our portfolio to include new regions like Africa. Since investing in
the continent’s largest solar project
, we’ve continued to see a big opportunity in fast-growing markets with rich renewable energy resources, where both the need and the potential are great. In fact, many countries are turning to renewables to help connect the nearly two-thirds of Africans that don’t have power today.
Today, we’re committing to invest in the
Lake Turkana Wind Power Project
in Northern Kenya, our second clean energy investment in Africa. When complete, Lake Turkana will bring 310 megawatts of clean energy onto Kenya’s grid—enough to power more than two million households across the country. Lake Turkana will help bring much needed capacity and stability to Kenya’s energy supply, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and emergency diesel generation while providing some of the most cost effective power in the country.
Google will join a diverse group of international investors in Lake Turkana,
the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. government’s development finance institution,
, which is also supplying the turbines for the wind farm. We will purchase Vestas’ 12.5% stake in Lake Turkana once it comes online, becoming the first U.S. private investor to support the project.
Lake Turkana will use wind turbines like these, supplied by Vestas (photo courtesy of Vestas)
Kenya ranks among the world’s fastest-growing economies and has goals of universal energy access and increasing capacity of the grid by 5GW by the end of the decade. Lake Turkana can help meet these goals. It offers one of the best wind resources in the world in terms of speed and consistency, and once operational, will deliver capacity equivalent to about 15% of Kenya’s current grid. It will also spur additional energy development in the region through a 266 mile transmission line that is being constructed to support the project. This transmission line will act as a backbone for the Kenyan grid and enable further geothermal capacity to be developed in the country’s Rift Valley.
As an investor in both the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind farm projects in Africa, w
e are as optimistic as ever about the potential for these investments to accelerate progress toward a
future of clean energy
These efforts not only make business sense, they can help accelerate the deployment of renewable energy globally— including in emerging markets like Kenya, where there is an opportunity to have a transformative impact on the energy grid.
Posted by Rick Needham, Energy & Sustainability Director
Google’s Growth Engine goes local to get Belgian businesses online
Friday, October 9, 2015
Back in February, we invited entrepreneurs from across Europe to celebrate their online success stories in Brussels. We also announced our plans to
train 1 million Europeans in crucial digital skills by 2016
. This week we're back, to focus on bringing the project to Belgium.
Belgium has a strong backbone of small businesses (SMEs); the country's creative flair is renowned worldwide. But not enough of those companies are online. Their
represents 2.5% of GDP, less than next-door neighbour The Netherlands. But this isn't about Benelux rivalry: SMEs that embrace the opportunity to grow online generate new jobs twice as quickly and are 50% more likely to sell products and services abroad.
The government knows this, and Minister for the Digital Agenda Alexander De Croo is on a nationwide
to get companies online. The Flemish and Walloon governments have similar projects. We’re keen to play our part,, so we're launching the
Google Growth Engine
programme in Belgium. It's simple: SMEs throughout the country get training in the essential digital skills they need to grow online. We'll work with small business associations
and educational institute
to deliver the courses, starting next month. The ultimate goal is to train 10,000 people in 2015 and 2016.
Last night in Kortrijk at the start of his digital tour, minister De Croo said: “It’s absolutely necessary to go the extra mile so that our SMEs can become European digital champions. I’m satisfied that Google shares that ambition with its Growth Engine programme.”
There are plenty of Belgian entrepreneurs who have already achieved growth through their smart use of the Internet, and we want to add more. The companies don't have to be techy, either -- two of our favourite examples are Maxime Verhulst with her fitness centre
offering Zumba dance fitness classes in Zaventem, and
Jules & Juliette
, which sells baby clothes. Their actual shop may be in chic Knokke-Heist, the St.Tropez of the North Sea, but online, their customer base knows no borders. See
for more Belgian success stories.
According to Belgian retail body Comeos,
60% of Belgians
shopped online last year, so the opportunity for Belgian businesses is huge. Our Growth Engine programme gives SMEs practical training that will allow them to take advantage of that opportunity.
Thierry Geerts, country director Google Belgium
Introducing the Accelerated Mobile Pages Project, for a faster, open mobile web
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Smartphones and tablets have revolutionized the way we access information, and today people consume a tremendous amount of news on their phones. Publishers around the world use the mobile web to reach these readers, but the experience can often leave a lot to be desired. Every time a webpage takes too long to load, they lose a reader—and the opportunity to earn revenue through advertising or subscriptions. That's because advertisers on these websites have a hard time getting consumers to pay attention to their ads when the pages load so slowly that people abandon them entirely.
In April, we announced the
Digital News Initiative
(DNI) together with a group of European publishers, aimed at working together to build a more sustainable future for digital news.
Today, after discussions with our DNI partners in Europe and publishers and technology companies around the world, we’re announcing a new open source initiative called Accelerated Mobile Pages, which aims to dramatically improve the performance of the mobile web. We want webpages with rich content like video, animations and graphics to work alongside smart ads and to load instantaneously. We also want the same code to work across multiple platforms and devices so that content can appear everywhere in an instant -- no matter what type of phone, tablet or mobile device you are using.
The project relies on AMP HTML, a new open framework built entirely out of existing web technologies, which allows websites to build light-weight webpages. To give a you sense of what a faster mobile web might look like, we’ve developed this demo on
Over time we anticipate that other Google products such as Google News will also integrate AMP HTML pages. And today we’re announcing that
more than 30 publishers from around the world
are taking part too.
This is the start of an exciting collaboration with publishers and technology companies, who have all come together to make the mobile web work better for everyone.
are among the first group of technology partners planning to integrate AMP HTML pages.
In the coming months we’ll work with other participants in the project to build more features and functionality focused on some key areas:
: Publishers increasingly rely on rich content like image carousels, maps, social plug-ins, data visualizations and videos to make their stories more interactive and stand out. They also need to implement ads and analytics in order to monetize the content and to understand what their readers like and dislike. The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project provides an open source approach, allowing publishers to focus on producing great content, while relying on the shared components for high performance and great user experience. The initial technical specification—developed with input and code from our partners in the publishing and technology sectors—is being released today on
: Publishers want people to enjoy the great journalism they create anywhere and everywhere, so stories or content produced in Spain can be served in an instant across the globe in say Chile. That means that distribution across all kinds of devices and platforms is crucial. So as part of this effort we’ve designed a new approach to caching that allows the publisher to continue to host their content while allowing for efficient distribution through Google's high performance global cache. We intend to open our cache servers to be used by anyone free of charge.
: Ads help fund free services and content on the web. With Accelerated Mobile Pages, we want to support a comprehensive range of ad formats, ad networks and technologies. Any sites using AMP HTML will retain their choice of ad networks, as well as any formats that don’t detract from the user experience. It’s also a core goal of the project to support subscriptions and paywalls. We’ll work with publishers and those in the industry to help define the parameters of an ad experience that still provides the speed we’re striving for with AMP.
We hope the open nature of Accelerated Mobile Pages will protect the free flow of information by ensuring the mobile web works better and faster for everyone, everywhere.
Posted by David Besbris, Vice President Engineering, Search
Digital News Initiative
View the “Chopin Olympics” on YouTube and the Google Cultural Institute
Friday, October 2, 2015
If you’re a piano afficionado, then you’re quite possibly also a fan of the great Polish piano virtuoso and composer Fryderyk Chopin. And if that’s you, you’re in luck: starting today, 78 of the world’s greatest pianists and new talents from 29 countries are gathering in Poland for the “Chopin Olympics”, more properly known as the
International Fryderyk Chopin Competition
This year, Google is the official partner of the competition, which runs throughout October. For the first time, you can
watch all the performances on YouTube
, including livestreaming of some of the concerts. And you can delve deep into the history of the competition and into Fryderyk Chopin’s history via
two new online exhibitions
on the Google Cultural Institute.
The Chopin Piano Competition started in 1927 and is one of few competitions in the world devoted entirely to the works of a single composer. Winners of the past editions became one of the greatest pianists in the world like Argentinian Martha Argerich or Polish Rafal Blechacz. Visit the Institute’s YouTube channel,
, to watch more than 120 hours of performances, interviews with pianists, behind the scenes footage, and the Grand Finale concerts held from 18th to 20th October.
And on the Google Cultural Institute you can also view two new exhibitions, curated by the
Polish National Fryderyk Chopin Institute
. The first exhibition draws on an archive of more than 200 rare documents to guide you through the
of the child prodigy who developed into one of the Romantic era’s truly international superstars, before meeting an untimely death at the age of 39.
The Institute’s second exhibition provides an
immersive, multimedia overview
of Chopin’s piano music and the historic competition from 1927 to the present day. It unveils hidden stories, personal letters, original manuscript compositions, and great background footage about the early competition performances and the jury’s secret decisions.
The cherry on the cake for serious music lovers is a unique gigapixel image of a rare original composition penned by Chopin in 1833, entitled
Fantasy-Impromptu in C sharp minor
. The imagery is so sharp that you can examine every handwritten note, annotation and correction in minute detail:
Detail of gigapixel image of Fantaisie-Impromptu cis-moll [Opus 66] (1833 - 1834), Fryderyk Chopin’s autograph composition dated 1835 (collection: Narodowy Instytut Fryderyka Chopina)
We hope you’ll tune in to the Chopin Institute YouTube channel for some awe-inspiring performances - and that you’ll be inspired by the exhibits. Oh, and… best of luck to all the competitors!
Posted by Agata Wacławik-Wejman, Head of Public Policy, Central & Eastern Europe
YouTube Space Paris: a new home for French creators
Friday, October 2, 2015
In France, just like in other cultural centres in Europe, the YouTube creative community is booming. French creators like
(a psychology student who delights and educates 700,000 fans every week) and
(a comedian whose videos have been viewed nearly a 1 billion times) are building global audiences on YouTube. And well-established cultural organisations like the
Institut National de l'Audiovisuel
are using YouTube to share French history and culture with viewers around the world.
With all the creativity coming out of the French capital, it was obvious that we should open a YouTube Space -- a collaborative space with state-of-the-art equipment that can be used for free by anyone with a growing YouTube channel -- to help the local YouTube community find even more success.
The Paris YouTube Space is our third in Europe - the others are in London and Berlin. Since 2012, more than 25,000 creators, from emerging comedians to established TV stations, have visited London and Berlin Spaces to produce over 1,500 high quality, highly original videos. Collectively, they’ve garnered over 225 million views and 16 million hours of watchtime from their fans.
We’re happy to invest in our European YouTube Spaces because European creators are… well… talented and prolific! A quarter of videos watched on YouTube worldwide are created by Europeans, helping propel European culture onto the global stage.
At the same time, YouTube has become a vehicle for Europeans to build businesses—more than 3 million creators and partners in Europe make money on YouTube from advertising and we’re looking at new ways to send even more revenue to our creators.
Back at the YouTube Space Paris, as we officially open the doors for the first time, the first month of workshops are already fully booked, and the excitment is palpable. It’s impossible to predict what the French
communauté de créateurs
are going to create here, but I can’t wait to see. And nor can the billion people out there on YouTube, waiting to press play.
Posted by Sebastien Missoffe, Vice President of Content and Operations at YouTube
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