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Popular video-sharing site YouTube launches Canadian version

Popular video-sharing web site YouTube launched a Canadian version Tuesday to highlight local content.

The content on both YouTube.com and YouTube.ca will be the same, but the Canadian site will highlight homegrown material, said international product manager Luis Garcia. The site becomes the 15th country-specific site, Garcia said.

”The only thing that’s different is that this is just a Canadian lens into that content, so if a user wants to get the Canada point of view into that global body of content, then they’re able to do that,” Garcia told reporters at the YouTube.ca launch event Tuesday in Toronto.

That means that content uploaded by users in Canada will show up as ”top favorites” and ”recommended content” on the site.

”We’re very excited to bring a local version of YouTube to Canada, and are committed to continuing to improve the YouTube experience for our Canadian users,” said YouTube CEO and co-founder Chad Hurley in a statement Tuesday. ”Our goal is to satisfy the unique needs of the local users and to further strengthen Canada’s vibrant YouTube community.”

YouTube.ca also will allow Canadian users to better connect with one another, Garcia said.

The site has already signed agreements with Canadian content partners including the CBC, the CFL and Sony BMG Canada.

YouTube, which was founded in February 2005, hosts more than 100 million video views every day with 65,000 new videos uploaded daily. Within a year after its launch, YouTube made headlines when Google Inc. acquired the company for US$1.65 billion worth of stock.

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