Comment : Social Network Launches "Instant Translation" for Developers

Netlog, the European social networking site with over 35 million members, has opened its translation and localisation capabilities to third-party developers.

The sites renowned translation system allows almost instant translation into 23 languages. Netlog also announced it will give developers access to its "credits economy", offering developers an alternative for advertising revenues.

Netlog joined the OpenSocial initiative just three months ago to allow developers to use a common set of programming interfaces on social sites across the web including Orkut, MySpace, Yahoo!, Hi5 and Friendster.

OpenSocial makes it easier for developers to build social applications and for websites to add more social features quickly.

Netlog only accepts applications offering a clear added value - and refuses applications forcing the user to leave the site, install the application or invite friends.

Applications can be branded, co-branded or sponsored. Developers receive 100% of the advertising revenues on the "canvas view" of the application.

"In order to reach all of the 35 million Netlog members, applications needs to be localized", explained Lorenz Bogaert, co-founder and CEO at Netlog.

"Using our translation function, developers can reach their target audience almost instantly in their local language - something other social networks fail to understand."

"We're really excited to see Netlog open their translation tools to OpenSocial developers", said Eric Tholome, Product Manager at Google.

"OpenSocial is all about helping the internet become better, more useful and more social - and having a translation tool for developers that bridges language differences is an important step in that direction."

Developers will also be granted access to Netlog's "credits economy".

While Netlog expects most applications to be free, it gives developers the opportunity to monetise by charging credits, or to incentivise by giving them away.