Google for Brasil was held in São Paulo, March 26, with official announcements specific to the Brazilian market.
As more and more indications show that Brazil is going to be the most important tech market in Latin America, it seems Google is starting to focus on some regionalized solutions in order to spread the word between potential business partners and to further integrate the country in its global strategy.
Some interesting new features to look forward to:
Jorge Paulo Lemann, international entrepreneur and one of the richest men in Brazil announced a partnership between Google and Lemann Foundation to donate R$15.8mi in investments to Brazilian Education. Google.org and Associação Nova Escola foundations’ investment is directed to technological solutions focused on teachers and students in the country. The objective is to create web classes, videos and other materials in order to create new learning experiences. The investment is part of a larger Google strategy of about U$50mi to be distributed between non-governmental organizations worldwide in the next two years. The main focus of this investment is to “fill the blanks” of traditional education methods.
Google Maps-Funai Partnership
New features to Google Maps have been announced, and an outstanding feature is the inclusion of indigenous territories in Brazil via a partnership between Google and Brazil’s National Indian Foundation (FUNAI). With this feature, any user can access every official Indian reservation in the country: 472 territories, with over 500 thousand individuals consisting of 13% of the country’s population. Another important announcement was the inclusion of Cabify to Maps, so users can now choose between Cabify, Uber and 99Taxis directly on Maps.
Google Arts & Culture – MASP Partnership
A partnership between Google and São Paulo Arts Museum (MASP) was also announced. The Arts & Culture app allows the user to access art, history and museum collections. This means access to more than 1000 items from the Masp catalogue, with some VR features available on the platform. More than 20 paintings were digitalized by Google itself and are available in high resolution to both Android and iOS apps.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Google Duo exclusive feature for Brazil
Communications app Google Duo was brought forth. This is a video conference app that promises to be the more accessible and a complete solution as the app also allows audio calls. The feature is at present exclusive to Brazilian users.
Google My Business for Brazil – Google Meu Negócio
A big deal for Brazilian small and medium sized entrepreneurs, Google Meu Negócio will allow users to create their own websites for free and host on Google servers. The focus is to provide more simple and efficient site creation tools so that small neighborhood business can boost their online presence easily. The platform is already in test phase, with 50 selected Brazilian companies taking part. The sites made on the platform are also optimized for mobile devices and most of the site creation can be done on mobile. Testing is open and by invitation for Brazilian companies at g.co/meunegocio
Waze Carpool in Brazil
A collaborative feature with Waze made big waves at the event. The GPS app is based on carpooling, allowing drivers to offer free rides to other users on the same platform. The basic mechanics of it: when a user starts a drive he or she sets a start point and destination; app users will be able to view these routes and request a lift. The only fee involved is ‘gas help’ cost, calculated automatically via Waze. Google has not yet set a release date for this feature.
Portuguese Google Assistant
A few weeks ago, Google released AI operated Google Assistant worldwide and the Portuguese language version was announced at the event. Ben Gomes, VP of Google search service confirmed the inclusion of the language, and assured that it would be available soon. At present, Assistant is only available in Google Allo, a WhatsApp-like app that has also received some Brazilian-exclusive features this week.
Other announcements include the planning for post-search tools, and Google Photos features directed to low-tier phones- again a market targeting strategy for Brazil. Some indications of Chromecast arriving in Brazil were also brought up but have not yet been confirmed.