YouTube launches Arab world’s first creative content creation space

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YouTube's Dubai Space launches in Dubai Studio City. (YouTube)
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Once entering, you are greeted by a floor to ceiling abstract mural of Arabian stallions, camels and shisha-smokers. (YouTube)
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YouTube's Dubai Space comes with state-of-the-art studios and equipment. (YouTube)
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YouTube's Space also has an area where creators can get together, eat and socialize. (YouTube)
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Top Arab world YouTube creators speak at the press conference. From Left to Right: Iraqi Dubai-based YouTube creator Lowi Sahi, Sudanese Dubai-based YouTube creator Maha Jaafar, Iraqi US-based YouTube Creator Noor Stars, Bahraini YouTube Creator Omar Farooq. (YouTube)
Updated 26 June 2018
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YouTube launches Arab world’s first creative content creation space

DUBAI: Deep in Dubai’s desert dunes on the outskirts of the vast sprawling city, inside an unassuming, warehouse-like building, the world’s largest video-sharing website has created a high-tech, state-of-the-art space that it says will cater to the Arab world’s biggest and brightest vloggers.
After walking along a red carpet lined by bright, green plastic grass — and a surprisingly small reception area – you finally enter YouTube’s first-ever Middle East and North African “Space.”
Completely free of charge, this whole space – with everything in it — is allocated to YouTube creators with a following of 10,000 or more, while those with more than 1,000 subscribers are offered access to workshops and events.
You are greeted by a floor to ceiling abstract mural of Arabian stallions, camels and shisha-smoking patrons in a community area scattered with black and red barrel tables and an assortment of seating paraphernalia facing a permanently-installed video wall – the furnishings, we are told, are there just for the launch.
A window offers a glimpse from the community room into a 60 square meter studio, that caters for small productions — but offers a high-end, multi-camera set-up. Separated by a common wall, is a bigger 120 square meter studio for the bigger and more complicated productions, fully equipped with green-screen curtains and direct connection to a control room that sits above the whole space.
While creators can bring their own equipment, they need not worry as the most state-of-the-art and high-tech cameras, microphones and lights are available in the “Tech Cage” which nestles in the corner of the community area.
“In order to take it to the next level, as a YouTuber, you need a space to be able to work from, you’d need studios, cameras, equipment which is what this space is offering,” Bahraini YouTube sensation Omar Farooq told Arab News.
“The space allows you to go from an amateur YouTuber to one that’s professional and fully dependent on it for earnings,” Farooq, who has over 1.3 million subscribers, added.
YouTube creators have increased in the Arab world by 160 percent over the past three years, according to the company’s own statistics. Today, more than 200 channels with more than 1 million subscribers are spread across the MENA region, and in excess of 30,000 channels have more than 10,000 subscribers.
Speaking at the press launch of the facility, Head of YouTube Spaces in EMEA David Ripert said the Dubai Space is: “to be a hub where creators don’t just continue to make the videos millions of people have grown to love, but to also experiment with new formats and ideas made possible by the Space’s production facilities.”
The Dubai space is the company’s tenth worldwide, with other locations including Berlin, Toronto, Los Angeles, Mumbai, New York, Tokyo, Sau Paolo, Paris, and London.


WhatsApp to limit message forwarding

This photo illustration shows an Indian newspaper vendor reading a newspaper with a full back page advertisement from WhatsApp intended to counter fake information, in New Delhi on July 10, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 20 July 2018
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WhatsApp to limit message forwarding

  • Indians forward more messages, photos and videos than any other country in the world

NEW DELHI: WhatsApp announced curbs on its service in India on Friday in an effort to stop a spate of horrific lynchings and to assuage government threats of legal action in its biggest market.
More than 20 people have been killed by mobs in the past two months across the country after being accused of child kidnapping and other crimes in viral messages circulated on WhatsApp.
The Facebook-owned firm said on Friday that in India it will test limiting the ability of users to forward messages, and will also experiment with a lower limit of five chats at once.
It addition, it said it will “remove the quick forward button next to media messages,” a statement said.
“We believe that these changes — which we’ll continue to evaluate — will help keep WhatsApp the way it was designed to be: a private messaging app,” it added.
Under pressure from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, the firm had already announced new features to help users identify messages that have been forwarded.
WhatsApp had also bought full-page adverts in Indian newspapers with tips on how to spot misinformation.
But in a strongly worded statement released late Thursday, India’s information technology ministry said the action taken was not enough.
“Rampant circulation of irresponsible messages in large volumes on their platform have not been addressed adequately by WhatsApp,” the ministry said.
“When rumors and fake news get propagated by mischief-mongers, the medium used for such propagation cannot evade responsibility and accountability,” it said.
“If (WhatsApp) remain mute spectators they are liable to be treated as abettors and thereafter face consequent legal action.”