Feeds

Facebook turns users into web translation engine

A great way to nab your data

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Looking to translate your website into another language? You can now seek help from the social-networking-obsessed masses - and juice Facebook's advertising schemes in the process.

Today, at a web app conference in London, Facebook introduced a free service dubbed Translations for Facebook Connect, a translation engine driven by, yes, the site's users. The social networking outfit has used a similar application on its own site since January 2008, translating its original English content into 65 other tongues. The app asks Facebook users to provide translations of particular site phrases, then collects votes on which translation is most accurate.

According to the company, when the tool was first used it produced a Spanish-language Facebook in two weeks. And a French translation in 24 hours.

Now, the company is offering its translation-wisdom-of-the-crowds engine to the roughly 15,000 sites that use Facebook Connect, a service that lets netizens log onto third-party sites with their Facebook accounts and send certain info back to Facebook. Naturally, the new Translations service is meant to juice the Connect service. Today, the company also introduced a tool, the Connect Wizard, designed to ease the addition of Connect to any website.

Connect, you see, ends up feeding user data into Facebook's grand scheme to actually turn a profit. The more Facebook knows about what you do online, the more targeted its targeted ads. At least in theory.

When it comes to advertising, Facebook is mimicking The Google Way. But the two diverge on translation tools. Google's engine uses machines for translations, not social networkers. And in speaking with the New York Times, Facebook couldn't help but take a subtle swipe at Google Translate.

"Other businesses try to accomplish the same thing using technology to solve these problems, and it’s not always 100 percent accurate," said Ethan Beard, head of platform at Facebook. "But technology doesn’t take into account cultural values, idioms that are hard to translate. In the same way we think reviews are better when they come from friends, translation done by people is significantly better than what you would get otherwise." ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.