Twitter confirmed that it’s testing a tool that will automatically translate tweets using Microsoft’s Bing search engine. The company hopes this will make it easier for people around the world to connect with each other as well as their favorite brands.
The company originally began testing this tool back in February 2012, but it seems like the experimentation is still ongoing. Browsers like Google Chrome already offer automatic page translation, tweets included, but an official tool from Twitter would extend the ability across all browsers and mobile devices.
Twitter has added a gray “View translation” button underneath the tweet’s text. As you can see in the screenshot below, tweets will continue to appear in the original language, and once the button is clicked, the translated version will be displayed in smaller text below the original (with a powered by “Bing translator” label).
Global brands might already have separate Twitter profiles for marketing in countries that speak other languages. If you don’t, a wider roll out of this test could make it easier for you to communicate with international fans. What would make this tool even more valuable is if Twitter provided a button to automatically translate replies in another language.
Currently, the translate option is only available on individual tweet pages, not on Twitter’s timeline. The feature is rolling out slowly in select markets and with translation features for Spanish, Italian, and German to begin with. If it becomes an official feature, we imagine that other languages will soon follow.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.