In a post to the official Google Translate Blog this week, staff researcher Ed Chi and software engineer Lichan Hong announced that Google has begun rolling out a native translation tool for Google+ posts.
Google+ translation has been available to Google Chrome browser users for two years already via an experimental Chrome translation extension released in August 2011. Now, Google+ users across all desktop browsers — and sometime later for mobile users — will be able to enjoy the same 50+ language translation features as their Chrome-using brethren. Simply click a “translate” link (in your language!) underneath the post.
This new development for the Google+ challenger to social media leaders Facebook and Twitter catches up to the language translation innovations introduced by both in the last two years. Facebook added in-line translation to its platform in October 2011; Twitter’s Bing-powered translations were quietly rolled out just this July.
“The Google Translate team is always working to make information more accessible to individuals around the world,” said Chi. “In Google+ this means bringing people together regardless of their written language, and breaking down language barriers that can limit the exchange of ideas.”
Of course, this feature is not just about pleasing Google’s social media users. This increasingly standard feature is also about extending the commercial reach of the advertisers on platforms such as Twitter or Facebook, sellers who find social media increasingly attractive as a method for reaching buyers in markets worldwide. As we noted in our article on Facebook’s acquisition of voice translation firm Mobile Technologies, the makers of the Jibbigo translation app, the backing of social media leaders in the translation industry sector can be a boon for us all.
We’re certainly not complaining, then, that the Google+ team is a bit late to the party. Glad to see them, and on whatever browser we choose to use.