Google Takes YouTube Global

YouTube launched nine localized versions of its popular social video site on Tuesday, which will at first only place navigation and functionality in the country's native language.

Eventually, the site plans to offer localized content as well, with the featured pages targeted towards the individual tastes of consumers in each market. This would include ratings specific to that country in addition to localized comments.

The nine initial countries included are Brazil, Britain, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. Users in these countries would have the option to switch their preference to the new version, or jump between them through the menu bar at the top of the page.

Localized pages will not merely be subdomains of - the company in every case but Italy has gone ahead and purchased the YouTube domain for that specific country.

YouTube's efforts to become more internationally inclusive have been stepped up in recent months. While much of the attention has been on its deals with American television networks, it has signed several agreements with international broadcasters as well.

Content will be made available to YouTube users worldwide unless the provider forbids it.

Some believe that YouTube's move was a long time coming. "Opening up the site to a non-English speaking audience will drive a new wave of growth that will further cement YouTube's place as the leading online destination for on-demand internet video," Duncan Riley wrote for TechCrunch on Tuesday.

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