The Arab world has no shortage of 'batalat' (heroines in Arabic), and tech giant YouTube knows it.
' Batala ' is a YouTube's newest hub, dedicated to Arabic content produced by females. The video platform announced that Batala already has more than 1,000 videos in store, featuring more than 100 female video creators from the Middle East and North Africa, mostly from the Saudi kingdom. It also includes some US-based vloggers who produce content in Arabic.
The move can be seen as a direct response to a growing interest in female-related content on YouTube. According to Al Arabiya, time spent watching female-related videos in the MENA region grew by a whopping 50% in 2015.
The videos on Batala are categorized by genre, including beauty, comedy, films and music. The platform's introductory video, published four days ago, has already garnered over 1,146,000 views:
"Every day, we discover new female Arab creators who present wonderful creative videos. And since those creators speed up the pace of innovative nonstop, we decided to launch Batala," YouTube explains. "This allows followers to discover many female creators in one channel."
Yet this isn't the first time YouTube shows interest in the Arab world. It has previously launched a hub for Arabic films called 'Aflam' and followed with a similar service for Arabic series called ' Musalsalat '.
“With the continuing growth of female content creators in MENA, we want to keep the momentum going," said Diana Baddar, head of YouTube Partnerships in MENA. “I am very proud of what is happening, because where we were four years ago to where we are today, there has been a massive growth!
"We have thousands of channels in Arabic created by Arabic female content creators. That in itself proves that women haven’t found the content that interests them as much, so they felt the need to create it themselves.”
The platform's launch event, held in Riyadh earlier this week, brought together some of the contributing creators. They shared their YouTube vlogging experiences: from the things that triggered their debut to the criticism they faced as they rose to YouTube stardom. The event also included workshops about creating successful YouTube channels and producing content that appeals to the masses.
Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud, vice president for women’s affairs of the General Sports Authority, made an appearance at the launch with a panel conversation about motivating young women to build a better reality, according to Arab News .
"Batala, or heroine in today’s meaning, is the one who thinks about herself and others around her, and how to benefit others,” said Al-Saud.
Here's a sneak-peek on some of our YouTube 'batalat':
Emirati Noor Stars
Her funny videos have attracted more than 2 million subscribers.
Egyptian Enji Aboul Seoud
Aboul Seoud critiques films on her YouTube show Vignette, which is produced by The Planet Production .
Palestinian Haifa Bseiso
Bseiso is a UAE-based travel blogger.
Saudi Arabian Njoud Al Shammari
Al Shammari, a lifestyle vlogger, is one of the kingdom's most popular YouTube personalities.
Want to become one of them? Submit a request to add your channel to Batala!