Google bullish on local e-commerce as it marks 5th year in PH

By Rafi Koteh

Internet search giant Google celebrated on Wednesday, January 31, the 5th anniversary of its local operations with a quirky “super blue blood moon” party at the rooftop of its local headquarters in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.

Google PH employees, led by its country manager Ken Lingan (in black shirt), celebrate the company’s 5th year in the country

Amid the festivities of Googlers and guests, the Silicon Valley firm reaffirmed its commitment to become the country’s technology partner for inclusive growth.

“We want to enable every single Filipino to continue and amplify the progress that is within our grasp though the use of Google technology,” Google Philippines country manager Kenneth Lingan said in his speech.

Google’s local office said it aims to further the country’s development in three key growth areas: digital economy, culture, and the Internet.

A 2016 Temasek report projected that Philippine e-commerce is expected to grow from $5 billion to $9.5 billion by 2025. Lingan revealed that the current growth of the Philippine e-commerce industry is exceeding these initial projections.

Google said it is focusing on helping micro, small, and medium (MSMEs) enterprises thrive online and take full advantage of this opportunity by increasing their visibility through Google My Business.

Google My Business is a free online tool that allows businesses to be put on Google Maps. It enables entrepreneurs to give directions, receive feedback, and share relevant information such as location, business hours, and contact details. In addition, this tool makes it easier for registered businesses to be found on Google Search.

Google also has held talks with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to use Google My Business to share information on government services to the public.

This year, Google is launching a nationwide campaign this year that will allow every Filipino to promote their culture through digital tourism.

“Local Guide” is another online tool that allows Google Maps users to share reviews of tourist attractions, dining destinations, hotels, and other places. Google will also host a Local Guide Summit for Filipino communities and to recognize top contributors.

Google Philippines is also paying homage to the country’s heritage. A combination of seven Filipino events, festivals, and notable individuals will be featured on Google’s search homepage through Google Doodles.

Google held its anniversary party at the rooftop of its local headquarters in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig

In terms of Internet access, Google is also rolling initiatives aimed at maximizing the online usage of data-conscious Filipinos.

Aside from the data-saving apps “Datally” and “Files Go” that were launched in the country in 2017, the Internet firm has unveiled the new app, YouTube Go.

Currently on beta test, YouTube Go allows users to save videos for offline viewing, share them without the Internet, and manage data usage by choosing their video’s resolution.

Google is also pushing for a “more positive” Internet by expanding its 2016 digital tourism campaign dubbed #LovePhilippines to include collaborative efforts with YouTube creators and other social media influencers. Working together, they will promote responsible and productive interactions online for a safer Internet.

“As we celebrate our fifth anniversary, we look at the collaborations we can make with different sectors, institutions, and all Filipinos so we can maximize the Internet to help us build an even greater Philippines,” Lingan stated.

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