Next Billion Users (NBU)

The Next Billion Users (NBU) is a Google Photo library that depicts the uniqueness and diversity of Kenya and how Kenyans are using technology and google products in their daily lives. Everyone — no matter their location, language or digital literacy — deserves an internet that was made for them. Google’s Next Billion Users initiative conducts research and builds products for people around the world. 

“Next billion users” is a term that refers to the next wave of internet users, particularly those in emerging markets such as Asia, Africa, and Latin America. These are individuals who are coming online for the first time and may have limited experience with technology. They often have different needs and behaviors compared to users in more developed markets, such as lower-income levels, limited access to devices and internet connectivity, and a preference for local languages and content.

The next billion users are seen as a key growth area for tech companies and internet-based services, as they represent a large and relatively untapped market. To serve these users effectively, companies need to adapt their products and services to meet the unique needs and constraints of these markets. This may involve creating lighter versions of apps that use less data and are optimized for low-end devices, incorporating local languages and content, and developing new business models that are more affordable and accessible to users with limited resources.

In recent years, there has been a growing focus on building digital infrastructure and expanding internet access to underserved areas, with initiatives such as the Google Station and Facebook’s Free Basics program. By connecting the next billion users to the internet and enabling them to access digital services, it is hoped that these users will be able to benefit from the economic, social, and educational opportunities that the internet provides.