Google Inc(NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Hunter Walk finally succeeds in developing YouTube for Good that focuses on developing services for nonprofits and activists. Walk has succeeded in gathering about 200 people from the online video site’s 1000 employees along with some from Google’s headquarters in
Mountain View to
contribute some time to build online tools used by organizations like United
Nations World Food Program and Charity: Water.
This venture has been made possible due to Google’s “20 percent time” program that allows employees to work on their personal projects on one day of the week. Walk wanted to develop YouTube into something more serious like a global classroom, ever since Google acquired it in 2006. He did not want it to be a platform for only watching animal clips, music videos or movie trailers.
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YouTube’s rise into the online video giant that it is today with more than 800 million monthly viewers, is also due to Walk’s efforts. He has also improved Google’s advertising network right from the time of his joining, which was almost 9 nine years back. Though he has learnt to make use of 20 percent time, he does not reveal its headcount as he greatly values discretion.
There were talks of 20 percent time being closed down after CEO Larry Page shut down Google Labs, the part of the website that housed many of the experimental online tools that came out of the program. However, it is still in existence for the time being because of generating popular products like Google News and Gmail.
YouTube for Good is doing extremely well coupled with the live streaming feature that was first tested with nonprofits for last year’s AIDS symposium by the ONE Campaign. Useful tools have also been developed by Walk’s team such as automatically blurring the faces of people appearing in videos, so that activists in protest videos can be protected.