For some reason, the Financial Times “broke the story” that Facebook has plans to translate the site into multiple languages. This is not news! I posted a video of Mark Zuckerberg mentioning this at the New York developer’s garage back in June. Am I missing something here? I guess the fact is that news occasionally repeats itself.
Conversely, I don’t want to downplay the importance of such a move. Facebook should have converted their site into multiple languages long ago. Doing so is a complex task though. Friendster just now added a Chinese version years after they became the most popular social network in southeast Asia. The fact that Facebook is coming close to being as big as MySpace without translating into multiple languages illustrates just how far their reach expands within their existing demographics.
All of this also avoids the fact that Facebook already has tons of clones. A Chinese clone actually got acquired last October as Pete Cashmore reported. It will be interesting to see how soon Facebook can officially launch in new languages. I know they surely are swamped given all the changes that we already would like to see. What language do you think they should launch with first?