Russian search engine Yandex has launched a service to upload videos on the Yankex Zen platform. The challenge to YouTube is on
Russia and China have always been two very difficult markets for American Web giants, including Google. The recent move of Yandex, the most used search engine in Russia, confirms the fact that Google must be very careful to the competition coming from the Russian Federation.
Yandex, in fact, has just announced the end of the tests, and then the release to the general public, of the possibility to share videos on its platform Yandex Zen. The latter is a sort of personal consulting service, also available in Italy, based on an algorithm that suggests, and shows in a social network-style stream, the best content for each user. Content selected based on data collected during search sessions on Yandex. Videos on Yandex Zen will have some big limitations compared to YouTube's, but they're probably just the Russian giant's first move.
Yandex Zen Video: how it works
Anyone with a profile on Yandex Zen can now upload videos up to 15 minutes long. These videos could then end up in other users' streams, based on their searches and interests. A sort of hybrid between YouTube suggestions and Facebook Watch. The user's interactions with these videos will then add up to the profile of their interests, on which the whole Yandex Zen platform is based.
Should YouTube be afraid?
In principle, with videos that are 15 minutes long at most and available only within the Yandex Zen platform, this novelty shouldn't intimidate Google much. According to a recent research by Deloitte, more than half of Russian Internet users watch videos accessed through Yandex search results, but many more watch videos through YouTube and VKontakte, the most used social network in Russia. However, the arrival of videos on Yandex Zen is a sign that someone is trying to challenge YouTube, that that someone is also quite strong (Yandex is a behemoth, even challenging Google in the self-driving sector), and that it is not even the only one doing so. Before Yandex, it was Toutiao, in China, that came up with the videos. Toutiao is the flagship product of ByteDance, a Chinese tech giant that also develops the TikTok app, which is giving Instagram a scare.