According to a study by Steven Van Bellegham in 2011, more than 1 billion people use Facebook.
That’s 70% of the internet population. This is a phenomenal amount, but is it all that surprising?
Facebook breaks down the international barriers, and using the World Wide Web it connects people within each country as well as across continents.
It has even bridged the translation gap by having its users collaborate to translate the site content into 87 languages (including Pirate English).
This way of translating the website had at least two clear benefits. Firstly, it broadened the accessibility of the site to even more users in their own languages – thus increasing the chance of growing popularity. These translation services provided by the networking community have worked very well in this instance.
Facebook, Twitter and B Kontakte are the three most successful social networking sites in Europe closely followed by Linkedin. Whilst Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook are the most popular in the USA whilst in China and Australia, MySpace is more prevalent than Linkedin.
These are obviously some of the most regularly talked about Social Networking sites in the UK and Europe currently, however there are many more across the world.
In fact there are more than 200 well-known Social Networking websites on the internet. This figure includes dating websites as well as networks for specific interests, such as art for example. Some of the other social networking sites are ones such as Tuenti in Spain, the Facebook-like Renren in China and the Norwegian Nettby.
Could these sites benefit from translation services? Tuenti is already in both English and Castellano. Nettby was one of the largest networking sites in Norway, second only to Facebook. Sadly it closed down in 2010, after just a year.
Social networks are important in each country because they allow people to connect at the click of a button and to communicate at all hours of the day, regardless of time difference. Technology has brought us a long way and the translation industry has undoubtedly benefited from the modern speed and ease of communication.
It makes sense that social networks like Facebook and Twitter certainly benefit from being translated into different languages, but would other social networks benefit from translation into English and various languages? By translating into English and other widely spoken languages the networks would be accessible to a wider range of people. Or perhaps businesses should look into networking on these lesser known sites? If they were to use translation services to advertise their materials in the language of other social networking sites, would businesses increase their chances of expanding further into the global market?
For more information on languages and the services we offer, please visit our translation services page.