Multilingual Facebook users are about to see posts in more languages than just English.
The company announced on Friday the launch of a new feature that serves as a translation tool that allows users to compose statuses in a total of 45 different languages.
Called the "multilingual composer," the new tool automatically translates text into the desired language of the user's choice.
The author of a post can write it in multiple languages, such as first writing something in English and then having the same post appear in Spanish for family or friends who only understand their native language. The writer can also edit the text that is translated with the ability to include colloquial words to make it sound more like the user and not some robot.
The feature uses machine learning to display a user's preferred language. This will come in handy for Pages that include multiple languages in a single post to avoid missing an audience. Instead of all the languages included appearing for those reading it, a French-speaking user, for example, will see the post only in French instead of having to scroll through long text that says the same thing in different languages.
This allows more people to communicate, learn information on the platform and share their opinions without language being a barrier. It only makes sense that Facebook would introduce a feature like this. There are more than 1.5 billion people on the social network, and only 50 percent of users speak English.
Previously, Facebook users could click on a "translate" button on statuses that appeared in different languages. However, these posts had to be written by switching the language on the user's smartphone or computer keyboard. The multilingual composer makes it easy for any user to start writing in English and then instantly translate it to the language they prefer to post it in.
Here's how it works:
When a user is composing a new post, they have the option to have the text appear in additional languages. To select a language, the author simply clicks on a drop-down menu associated with "Language: Select" to choose the language they want. The text will automatically be translated.
Once they select the language, the user then has the option of also sharing this status in yet another language. To do so, they click on "Write post in another language" in gray text located underneath the blue text for the language they selected. They would then select another language and have the option of keeping the translation or editing it.
This allows the same post to be written in, say, English, Spanish and Arabic, all in a few easy steps. Remember, other users will not see this post three times; they will only see it in their language.
Facebook begun testing out the multilingual composer for Pages earlier this year, and it has begun testing the feature for everyday Facebook users starting on Friday.