2004 saw the introduction of what was soon to become the world’s number 1 social networking website-Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook started small in a dorm room and has ended up with a large user base across the world. Facebook has reached the 500 million user mark making it the most popular social networking site in the world. 78% teenagers confess to having Facebook accounts. Facebook maintains accountability towards its users. User privacy has always been top priority and the other area of interest is that of software development. Facebook allows a free and open forum for the development of gaming as well as other user software. These games have made Facebook a very popular gaming platform while maintaining its position as a social networking site. Over the years Facebook has achieved such phenomenal success because they have ensured the propagation of the site internationally. As such, using their developer’s blog, Facebook has encouraged and recommend internationalization of gaming Apps amongst their gaming software developers. This, obviously, helps Facebook’s growth, development and expansion into international markets.
Ways to Go Universal
This blog explains ways to increase application growth through the use of means like translation of apps into multiple global languages, creating location aware tabs and importing contacts through the multi friend selector. Another way to internationalize their apps would be to post country specific updates that cater to a more specialized audience. They recommend incorporation of each individual culture’s trends, ideas and even their national holidays. In order to make this easy for developers a new fb_sig_country request header has been added in the custom tab which allows developers to cater to the target audience while ensuring the larger global audience is not neglected. This inevitably gives a boost to Facebook’s plan of expansion into the global market.
Another great idea is the multi-friend-selector. This feature added to Facebook profiles in June of 2010 enables a user to import contacts from their email services by sending them invites for the app. When the invitee follows on this invitation, it is recommended that they create an account that will feature this app on its homepage. This helps with viral application growth and in turn the growth of Facebook itself.
Asia has always been a hotbed of Facebook users. With countries like India leading with the largest number of users in the Asian market. There have been cultural strongholds like Japan and South Korea that have resisted the growth and expansion of Facebook. But if recent studies are to be given cognizance, these markets too seem to be opening up to the Facebook craze. The internationalization that Facebook recommended is a major reason for this change in statistics. Even though they still have a long way to go, the presence of Facebook users seems to have doubled in the last three months itself. Statistics suggests that games seem to be the reason for this increased usage in Japan and South Korea. If this is truly the case, then it is all the more reason to translate these apps at the earliest.