Google And Facebook Respond To Turmoil In Iran With New Services

In efforts to facilitate Iranian’s communication with the world, internet giants Google And Facebook have launched new Persian-language services. Google has added Farsi to Google Translate and Facebook has introduced a Farsi version of the social networking site. From the AFP:

“We feel that launching Persian is particularly important now, given ongoing events in Iran,” Google’s principal scientist Franz Och said, announcing the addition of Farsi to Google Translate, its free online service.

Like YouTube and Twitter, “Google Translate is one more tool that Persian speakers can use to communicate directly to the world, and vice versa — increasing everyone’s access to information,” he added in a posting on Google’s official blog.

Meanwhile, Facebook engineer Eric Kwan said on its blog: “Since the Iranian election last week, people around the world have increasingly been sharing news and information on Facebook about the results and its aftermath.”

He added: “Today we’re making the entire site available in a beta version of Persian.” Several thousand people posted a “thumbs up” reaction to the news, denoting their approval.

The BBC reported that Google and Facebook had speeded up work on their projects because of huge interest in current events in Iran.