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Facebook App Center goes global

Translating the apps will be the hard part

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Just over a month since it debuted its App Center store in the US, Facebook is rolling out the service to global markets. Predominantly English-speaking countries will come first, with localized stores for other languages to launch in the next few weeks.

As of July 9, the App Center is available in markets with a high density of English speakers, including the US, UK, Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand, and South Africa. Facebook users in those countries should already see it in that website's left navigation menu.

Things will get trickier over the coming weeks. That's when Facebook plans to open up the App Center to users in Brazil, France, Germany, Russia, Spain, Taiwan, and Turkey.

App developers who want their products to appear in those countries' App Centers must submit translated app-detail pages ASAP. To make sure the global App Centers are fully stocked at launch, Facebook will fast-track any submissions that arrive by July 13.

Facebook is also adding a simple localization tab to the App Dashboard, which will allow developers to add languages to their app-detail pages and fill in the appropriate translated text.

The new global stores will offer up app suggestions based not only on user feedback, but also on which apps are most popular in a given country.

For Facebook app developers, going global may prove to be worth the effort. Facebook boasts of around 901 million active users per month, as of March 2012. Of those, it says, fully 80 per cent are located outside the US and Canada. ®

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