Yemi is a NIU living in Ibadan, Nigeria. She knows that smartphones can be used to browse for information, watch videos, and make phone calls, but she doesn’t think that they’re of much use when it comes to things that are really important, like her job. Yemi shares her phone with her daughter, so the time she can spend exploring it or practicing internet skills is limited. Besides, her device isn’t very sophisticated and her mobile data is expensive. Taken together, all these circumstances prevent Yemi from realizing or even understanding the full potential of what the internet has to offer her.

Yemi isn’t alone. Her experience is shared by NIUs all over the world whose digital learning curves are flattened by lack of time, access, and practice, and as a result, they aren’t truly grasping the power of the devices in their hands. Indeed, many of these users would feel no loss if they had to go without the internet, which means they inadvertently leave a tremendous amount of personal benefit, much of it economic, on the table.

Our hope for Task Mate is to remain as a flexible source of additional revenue, which everyone could always use a little more of.

Apps like Task Mate, which was beta-tested in late 2020 in India, experiment with new models for earning — creating an equitable platform for flexible, small tasks, many of which can be performed instantly and completely within the app itself in exchange for payment. Examples of small tasks include helping to label objects in an image or provide an English-to-Hindi translation on behalf of another party.

Some apps, like Google Go, now feature built-in tutorials (See Designing for Confidence), so even using search tools can reinforce internet skills and digital confidence. Others, like Google Pay, are giving unbanked and underbanked NIUs access to transaction accounts and financial inclusion for the very first time. (See Financial Inclusion).

Beyond that, it’s important to remember that in the next 10 to 15 years, 90% of all jobs will require some level of digital skills. In response, we launched Grow with Google in 2015 to offer free training, products, and tools designed to help people — many of them NIUs living in NBU countries — find a job, advance their career, or grow their business.

Demand for the program has been phenomenal, reaching job-seekers, business owners, teachers, developers, and students in more than 80 countries around the world. And with the aid and expertise of partners like e-learning experts FutureLearn and Udacity, and collaborations with universities, governments, chambers of commerce, city authorities, unions, and others, we’ll be developing new types of training to provide digital skills for a future that will demand them.

Our partners are also lending support with some truly amazing results. Nokia’s #NokiaC3forchange initiative, for example, provides community change-makers with smartphones to demonstrate the transformative impact of the technology. From helping rural farmers optimize their harvests to empowering victims of sex-trafficking to upskill into new work and more hopeful lives to helping save endangered birds from extinction — the initiative has revealed the tremendous value smartphones can add when we help people understand their fullest potential.

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An Entrepreneur Pays His Digital Skills Forward.

Segun Abodunrin lives in Lagos, Nigeria. He was unemployed when a friend told him about Google’s Digital Skills for Africa courses taking place in his home city. Attending the workshops turned out to be one of the biggest turning points in his life.

Meeting so many people [through the Google Digital Skills for Africa program] with so much energy and passion to learn gave me the confidence and hope that things could get better, if more people could learn digital skills.

Segun Abodunrin, Founder of Tway Media, Lagos Nigeria
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Training with Google Helps Allan Build a New Career.

Allan Juma grew up in the rural community of Meru, Kenya. As a child, he loved electronics, and decided that he was going to learn to build software and become a full-time developer. Through the Andela Learning Community (ALC) 2.0 program, powered by Google, he found a way.

Being a developer has really changed my life. I no longer have to depend on my parents for money and I’m now able to pay my bills and get some good shelter.

— Allan Juma, Meru, Kenya

The internet is a place that can unlock boundless potential, and its transformative power can be harnessed right from a smartphone in the palm of one’s hand. Ensuring more people have knowledge about the internet and its benefits is a responsibility we all share and an effort that will change the world for the better.


Internet access is a basic human right. But the goal of providing equitable and inclusive internet access to everyone remains unmet.

Building inclusive products

Conducting user research, whether it’s on-the-ground or virtual, helps designers better understand the people they aim to serve.


Everyone should be able to find the info they need online, but not everyone can. Find out why.

Designing for confidence

Inclusive digital design can help novice internet users grow their digital confidence.


Everybody who works in tech can help create a more inclusive, equitable internet for everyone, everywhere.

Financial inclusion

Financial inclusion goes beyond financial access. It’s about empowering, creating opportunities, and accelerating progress.

Growth in Africa
Growth in Africa

The growth of Africa’s internet economy will shape how everyone uses the internet in the future.


The next billion internet users are mobile-first or mobile-only, which makes their smartphone a key part of their digital experience.


Teams who immerse themselves in the communities they aim to reach are more likely to build successful products.


Tech has the potential to fundamentally change the way employers and job-seekers interact in every kind of market.


It’s the tech community’s responsibility to support novice internet users as they learn how to be online.


Most internet content is published in English. Learn how tech innovations are changing that.

Motorcycle Mode in Maps

Built for the next billion users, Motorcycle Mode in Google Maps shows how developers Google can improve existing services to meet evolving user needs.

Navigating a smartphone

From tapping, to pinching, to swiping, and more—developers can help unlock the value of a smartphone.

Optimizing for Offline

Novice internet users can better access the benefits of the internet with offline capabilities and “lite” versions of apps.


We’re developing new ways to protect people’s privacy when they share devices with friends and family.


It’s our responsibility to help answer the questions of novice internet users—so they’re empowered when they go online.

Reality vs Perception

We’re helping educate novice internet users in order to prevent misconceptions and empower people when they spend time online.


Google Search is a key part of a novice internet user’s experience—providing access to everything from news, medical services, recipes, entertainment, and more.


Novice internet users often learn how to use the internet and their smartphones through their friends and family. Learn more about their experiences.


Many novice internet users don’t know common digital symbols and functions. Upboarding helps grow digital literacy by meeting users where they are.


Developing enhancements for voice tools can help grow the internet and bring more people around the world online.


The barriers women face are disproportionately higher compared to their male counterparts. We have the opportunity to empower women and help close the gap.

Xtreme conditions

Some novice internet users experience environmental barriers that prevent them from getting online. Learn more about the challenges they face.


The benefits of education should be made available to all youth, the country's richest resource and the driving force to full country potential.

Gorm the Zop

“Gorm the Zop” is a game to help people understand the experiences of novice internet users around the world—and build empathy.