Facebook Goes International

About a year and a half ago, Facebook launched the first translated version of Facebook in Spanish. Since then, they've been busy working with community translators to translate the site into oodles of languages. From French, German, Japanese, Chinese and Italian, they worked their way up to 55 languages.

Now, they'd like you to know that thanks to its community translators, a la user-driven translation program, Facebook is available in 64 different languages. And that's not all.

Facebook is extending its translations to Facebook Connect, the platform that lets third-party websites offer Facebook login to their users and push information back to the News Feed.

Websites can change the language that Connect offers via simple code that Facebook has made available to its developer blog. When a user first connects to a site, or publishes something back to Facebook, the Facebook Connect content will appear in the language you specify. User-generated content continues to appear in the language in which it was written.

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Not only has Facebook extended its reach beyond Google's, whose Google Friend Connect just added support for 47 different languages, but it has set to improve its reach around the world as well.

Only two years ago, Facebook was lagging behind other social networking sites, slowly gaining attention and support when they announced they would start rolling out their site in other languages, following in the steps of MySpace, who by that time had already completed localizations throughout most of Europe.

By adding more and more localizations and languages to their platform, Facebook is making social networking a global affair, not only by providing users more options by which they can communicate, but by engaging a user-driven community that has worked to make it possible. That's social innovation.