Just a day before Ramadan, Google launched its integrated Ramadan hub in 22 domains including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman, amongst others, across three continents. The hub is an integration of Google’s key services such as Google Maps, Hangouts, Calendar and the recent note-keeping application, Google Keep.
In this day and age, when most claim that technology drives people apart, Google Ramadan aims to bring people together through technology. Tarek Abdalla, head of marketing for Google MENA, explains that the objective of this platform is to “demonstrate the everyday usefulness of Google products and show how individual services come together to make your life faster and better”.
Placing a strong emphasis on users being together with their loved ones during the Holy Month, the hub consists of four integral parts: Plan Together, Get Together, Eat Together and Enjoy Together. Plan Together helps you plan your day using Google Calendar and Google Keep, while Get Together helps you get together with your loved ones literally and virtually, using Google Maps and Google Hangout.
Abdalla says the consumption of YouTube videos during Ramadan is double than that in other times of the year, in the cooking, entertainment and lifestyle and religion content categories. Tapping into this insight, the last two sections of the hub, Eat Together and Enjoy Together, are primarily enriched with YouTube content featuring recipes, TV shows and even videos from the holy mosque in Mecca. This section also features a stream of photos shared on Google Plus, using the hashtag #ShareRamadan.
While the Ramadan Hub is a web-based platform, the integration of its services extends to the Google Play Store, which classifies and features the best and most popular Ramadan apps.
Google’s Ramadan hub conveniently combines its best features into an easily accessible platform for users. However, whether it can effectively harness technology to rouse the spirit of togetherness across the world, is something that remains to be seen.