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Twitter goes multi-lingual

Twitter branches out

Computer users across Europe and South America could soon access the world’s most popular micro-blogging service in their own language, it has been announced.

Twitter, which is currently available only in English and Japanese, is planning to roll out language support for French, Italian, German and Spanish. In the longer term, compatibility will also be extended to several other languages although the company declined to mention any by name.

Crowdsourcing will be used to build up a glossary, similar to the approach previously taken by Facebook. Volunteers are encouraged to provide translations in the first instance, before Twitter developers provide the technical expertise to implement their suggestions. Once both stages are complete, the company plans to offer the glossary to Twitter app developers to prevent foreign language users from missing out on key services.

Twitter discusses third-party involvement

In an official blog posting, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone explained that third parties have always been important to the micro-blogging service. “The variety of Twitter applications exist today because developers took advantage of this simple, open platform,” he said. “Protocols like @mentions and retweet were invented by users to get more out of their Twitter experience and we are able to follow up with a technical response.”

Last month, Twitter introduced a rewritten terms of service document that Mr Stone explained would “leave the door open” for online advertising on Twitter. He has previously indicated that the micro-blogging site would not run traditional banner campaigns, but might operate innovative solutions to help businesses engage directly with customers.

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