LEVI/FIGUEIRA/blog

A Multilingual Twitter

As a bilingual Twitter user, I’ve long awaited for better multilingual support on Twitter.

For some time now, I’ve had this simple idea that I believe could benefit millions of Twitter users. What if there was a meta/hidden field (API-accessible) that contained the ISO tag of the language of the tweet? Like Google Translate, the client software would be able to dynamically predict the language being typed but the user would be able to override it. This field would be completely invisible from the normal Twitter experience outside of the compose box. We would then be able to select the languages we would like to view in our Timeline. For instance, I would subscribe to English and Portuguese. That means that my Timeline would automagically “hide” any languages I don’t understand. This would make me feel a lot better about tweeting in Portuguese without feeling like I’m just adding unwanted noise to any of my follower’s timeline who doesn’t understand the language.

I know Twitter has been focused on “inclusive timelines” (more vs less), but, especially now, with the addition of third-party favorites and ads on my Timeline, it seems like a good time to think about multi-language support.

If you have any thoughts or comments, please feel free to contact me on Twitter.

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