February 20, 2014

Everyone knows that Facebook is big business. Since its foundation in 2004, the company has grown to employ over 6,000 members of staff, with offices in 25 countries around the world. The site had an average of 757 million daily active users in December 2013. As well as those using their PCs and laptops to access Facebook, the site recorded some 945 million monthly active users who were using mobile devices to access it as of December 2013. 

With so many mobile users, it is perhaps unsurprising that the new Facebook Paper app shot up the app charts within hours of its release in February 2014. At the time of writing, the free app was at number 5 on the iTunes app chart. 

A tool for translators

Paper is tipped to attract more than just the casual Facebook user. Translators around the world have been eagerly awaiting its release. With the app’s method of compiling photos, stories, videos and links uploaded by Facebook users into a news-style format, it essentially creates a hybrid between Facebook and an eZine. 

For translators, this provides an easily digestible combination not only of their friends’ statuses, but also of updates and links provided by translation-related pages that they follow through the main Facebook site.

As the app also makes it easy to share content with others, just as one might expect from a Facebook app, translators can easily pass on relevant and newsworthy updates that they come across.

The new face of social networking

Translators have also been eager to see just how Paper works. As a market leader in social networking and having been translated into multiple languages itself, Facebook has generated a great deal of translation work over the years. Now its Paper app looks set to do the same, as Facebook reaches out to even more users in even more countries. 

Paper provides an entirely fresh perspective when it comes to viewing Facebook. In the past, radical changes to the presentation of Facebook have not always been well received. Despite the fact that they are using an entirely free service, many users feel a sense of ownership and that they ought to be consulted before changes are enforced. Given the inherent opt-in nature of an App, though, it is unlikely that Paper will meet with the same resistance to change, although only time can tell!

More updates in real time

Translators who use Facebook as a means of finding work and liaising with clients will also benefit from the App, as Paper puts more real time updates at their fingertips. For an industry where communication is king, this will no doubt be greatly appreciated. 

Have you tried the new Facebook Paper app? What do you think of it? Let us know by sharing your experiences in the comment box.

By Ofer Tirosh

Ofer Tirosh is the founder and CEO of Tomedes, a language technology and translation company that supports business growth through a range of innovative localization strategies. He has been helping companies reach their global goals since 2007.



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