Google has announced the addition of two new Indian languages, Bangla and Malayalam, to the Google News Showcase initiative. The latest addition means that News Showcase now supports a total of seven Indian languages, including Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu.
The News Showcase initiative was brought to India by Google in May 2021, which brings content from licensed news organisations and publications to the readers. Content from News Showcase appears on Google News and Discover platforms, which the company is pushing in order to give readers credible information.
The expansion into new languages is the latest peg in continuing efforts by Google to offer more Indianised services. Google now claims that with the addition of the latest languages, it today supports over 60 licensed publications, which represent more than 100 publications. The service is also available in English, giving readers a total of eight languages to choose from in India.
Back in September, Google had also announced the Google News Initiative (GNI) Startup Lab India. The latter was introduced as a four-month training and mentorship programme targeted at smaller journalism organisations in the country.
Kate Beddoe, director of news partnerships for Google Asia-Pacific, said, “Created in partnership with the global innovation lab Echos and Digipub News India Foundation, the GNI Startups Lab India program will support high-quality reporting for local and underserved communities. The 16-week program is tailored to the needs of startup newsrooms in India and participants will benefit from Echos' experience in supporting media startups, and from Digipub's network and community with workshops and coaching.”
Google News Showcase also brings a limited volume of paywalled news content to readers, the company had stated in May 2021. “As a part of our licensing agreements with publishers, we're also paying participating news organisations to give readers access to a limited amount of paywalled content. This feature means readers will have the opportunity to read more of a publisher’s articles than they would otherwise be able to, while deepening readers’ relationships with publishers and encouraging them to subscribe,” the company had said in a blog post.