Facebook Platform to help apps internationalize into local languages

Just a day after Facebook launched a Spanish language website, Sasha Rush of Facebook said today that Facebook intends to help application developers internationalize their apps for users in different locale settings by making available some of the same tools Facebook has employed to translate its own site. Said Rush,

In addition to shipping some of strings off to be translated, we used FBML to wrap all of our static text. When a bilingual user comes to the site, she sees untranslated English strings marked with a red link and can translate them inline. Using this approach, users were able to translate the entire site in less than a month.

We choose this method to make it easy for platform applications to internationalize. Soon developers will be able to use the same method that we used internally to work with users to translate their apps.

Clearly, Facebook is signaling to the developer community that helping apps through the extremely difficult process of internationalization is a top priority. (Though of course, there is no way Facebook can solve all the technical challenges associated with building localization support for apps.)

In the bigger picture, it’s clear that Facebook intends to be a global player in social networking. Because its privacy rules significantly limit access and communication between unrelated users, Facebook as a product is well positioned to compete across international and language lines compared to many social networks. As translated versions of Facebook proliferate, we’ll keep a close eye on how Facebook is expanding into new markets.

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5 Responses to “Facebook Platform to help apps internationalize into local languages”

  1. International Apps on Facebook? | Lonely CEO Media - Facebook Application Development and Consulting says:

    [...] Smith of Inside Facebook picks up on the most interesting part of a recent developer [...]

  2. Facebook To Expand Translations Project To Include App Platform says:

    [...] focus again on Facebook here, though, because, as was reported yesterday by Justin Smith of Inside Facebook, a memo from one of the company’s representatives, Sasha Rush, delivered shortly after the [...]

  3. Facebook To Expand Translations Project To Include App Platform | delicous says:

    [...] focus again on Facebook here, though, because, as was reported yesterday by Justin Smith of Inside Facebook, a memo from one of the company’s representatives, Sasha Rush, delivered shortly after the [...]

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    [...] marketing plan as we move forward. With their efforts put towards localization (here, here and here) of Facebook outside of the US. Having global brands for video games on Facebook makes [...]

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