Facebook tests multilingual composer for individuals

Earlier this year, Facebook rolled out a feature for Pages that allows users to share a message in multiple languages, making them more friendly to a larger, more diverse customer base. Starting today, Facebook is testing that same multi-language story feature for individual Facebook users, giving them the same status tool that'll eliminate the need to publish multiple versions of the same status or publish one very long status that contains multiple language versions of the same message.

The social network aims to remove the language barrier by offering this feature; it already has a translation feature which provides a translation link on comments and statuses written in a language other than the one used on a user's account. While that makes it easier to consume foreign content, it doesn't help users who want to create content for a diverse collective of friends.

Users have gotten around this one-language limitation by doing things like posting a status in one language, then posting translations in comments on it, or by posting multiple statuses in different languages that are limited to specific users. When it comes to Pages, Facebook also saw some users creating multiple Pages for one entity, each managed in a different language.

The multilingual composer, as Facebook calls, it eliminates all of this by allowing the users to add multiple language versions of a single status, then publish that one status. When a Facebook user who speaks one of those languages views the status, they'll be shown the version that's in their own language. In its present form, the composer is being used by about 5,000 Pages.

Users will be given the option to have a machine translation version of their status used in addition to their own, opening the feature up for users who don't speak a specific language but want to make it reasonably available to others who do. For its part, Facebook is planning to use their multilingual composer to help it enhance its machine translation system.

SOURCE: Facebook