Today Google announced that its recently acquired video sharing site YouTube will begin serving localized versions of the YouTube home page and search functionality for nine additional countries aside from the U.S.
Prior to this update, videos have been shared from users around the world but the entire interface was available only in English. According to the co-founders of YouTube, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, the main featured pages of the site also showed content that was “heavily skewed” to the preferences of U.S. visitors even though more than half of the actual content posted on the site was from users in non-U.S. countries.
The countries targeted with the new local versions of the site are Brazil, Britain, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. Currently only the text content and search functions will be in the new languages but the plan is to eventually have these versions support their own rankings for videos along with their own comments. Separating these features will help give the individual sites their own “local” feel.