KARACHI: Bloggers and techies gathered at a private club on Wednesday for the official launch of Youtube in Pakistan.

Now you can earn money from your own channel and become a YouTuber, a YouTube celebrity. All you have to do is go and visit YouTube.com.pk.

Everyone in Pakistan can see hundreds of videos offline and can also download his/her favorite videos to watch them later for the next 48 hours.

Renowned stand-up comedian Saad Haroon hosted the event, which was attended by writers, marketers, advertisers, celebrities and representatives of start-ups of the country.

YouTube was banned in Pakistan for almost three-and-a-half years only to be unblocked in 2016 when a local version was introduced. Now the power to delete or demand deletion of any offensive material rests with the government.

Anwar Akram, Vice President Google Headquarters in Pakistan, said that around 56 million Pakistanis were online and about 60 per cent of them were under the age of 60. The number of online Pakistanis is equivalent to the entire population of United Kingdom.

Mr Akram said, “This is a ‘powerful’ thing…Some 55 per cent of the data used on mobile phones was for video and 20 per cent of users post videos online.”

“So they are not just watching videos, they are putting them up too.”

YouTube usage has been grown since the ban and unblocking, said Khurram Khalil Jamali, Industry head of Google Asia Pacific.

“YouTube is a platform that runs across 88 countries and has over one billion users.”

Mr Jamali said that every minute 400 hours of video were uploaded.

Saying YouTube was the second biggest search engine in the world, he said, “YouTube can give users a voice. It can open up avenues. An example is Salman Khan of the Khan Academy; he started uploading video lessons on YouTube. Coke Studio is another great example. Brands are taking advantage of this to spread their message.”

More importantly, Google is also looking at YouTube creators for growth. It is bringing YouTube Partner Program to Pakistan. This will allow video creators in the country to make money for their original work.

Google says any Pakistani creator even if they have only one original video can become a partner and start making money. These partners will be able to run ads against their videos. YouTube splits the revenue generated by those ads, and pays its partners.