With the introduction and prominence of Google’s web translator, companies like Facebook have a more prominent need to provide users with translation features within their display. Often times users, myself included, will leave their Facebook tab to translate something their friends commented on or made a status about. Since introducing Facebook in multiple languages, users have soared to 750 million people. Obviously in such a connected world, these users need the ability to communicate quickly with each other, and Facebook is prepared to provide that plugin.
Languages available for translation will be few at first, and include English, Spanish, French, Hebrew and Chinese. At times, translations will be unavailable due to unrecognizable comments, which happens sometimes with the slang used by many users (everybody has their own language, even groups of friends). This feature could help to further help the world communicate through social media.
One thought I had about rapid translation (especially among friends) is that it may hinder the need for multiple languages to be learned by one person. Sometimes I enjoy staring at a friend’s Spanish status or comment and figuring out what they’re saying myself; people learn better that way. Granted, it’s not like the feature is an automatic translator: it’s a clickable button (meaning the user has a choice whether to click it or not). But hey, maybe we’ll all end up with a babel fish in our ear and understand every language…
For more, read Inside Facebook