Facebook: Localization Coming Soon!

Robert Scoble, who’s currently attending the Davos conference, had the chance to connect with Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO. Among the things Zuckerberg shared:

  • Localization: “they are within weeks of shipping translated versions of Facebook.”
  • Application Platform: “they are working on a major overhaul of the application platform. Both to make apps less spammy and also to deliver much more functionality so more apps move beyond the viral, but pretty low feature, styles of apps.”
  • Data Portability: “they are still thinking about data portability and just how that will work to both protect users as well as to encourage new kinds of applications to be built.”
  • Scrabulous: “he talked to me about his love of Scrabulous and was hopeful that a good resolution will come. (…) He thinks there may be an acquisition or other good outcome to the dispute.”
  • The Beacon debacle: “he admitted to me that he had made mistakes in how they implemented Beacon and explained it. Watch for him to come back with a new Beacon and a much better explanation.”

What it means: being located outside the US, I definitely sense that localization is the biggest issue facing Facebook in terms of future growth. Europe has seen the emergence of strong regional social network players because of that situation, especially in non-English speaking countries. On Scrabulous, expect Facebook themselves to buy the application (and then pay Hasbro for the license) as it is one of the stickiest app out there.

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