Kaylene Hong was Asia Reporter for The Next Web between 2013 and 2014, based in Singapore. She is bilingual in English and Mandarin. Stay in Kaylene Hong was Asia Reporter for The Next Web between 2013 and 2014, based in Singapore. She is bilingual in English and Mandarin. Stay in touch via Twitter or Google+.
A useful translation feature (albeit poorly executed at times) appears to have disappeared from Twitter’s platform, less than two months after the company quietly rolled it out. The feature allowed people to use Microsoft’s Bing translation engine to translate tweets with the tap of a button.
One reason for the Bing translation feature’s disappearance could be that it wasn’t very reliable.
@MartinSFP @jonrussell @nisummers in other news, Twitter for Web thinks I’m speaking norwegian pic.twitter.com/BtvL6FRnHI
— Natt Garun (@nattgarun) June 24, 2014
A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment when contacted by TNW. However, Twitter has been known to dabble in new features all the time, which may or may not eventually become permanent — and typically points the media to its blog post on experiments. It seems like Twitter experimented with the Bing translation feature and didn’t like it enough eventually. What’s notable about the removal of this translation feature is that it is a very useful tool to have, especially with a large number of tweets circulating around the world in a variety of languages, and it seems like a surprising move for Twitter to ditch it.
Many people have already noticed the removal of the translation feature and some are expressing their disappointment.
Did the bing translate tweet feature get taken away from twitter? Or just me?
— Adam Elmakias (@elmakias) August 4, 2014
Twitter seems to have increased the number of experiments in the past week or so. We’ve seen evidence that Twitter is preparing to introduce shopping services, suggesting potential new followers inside users’ timelines, and also surfacing tweets that have been favorited by others, in the same way that it handles retweets.
Given the importance of an inbuilt translation feature, however, we suspect Twitter may just be back with a retooled version, though it may not be powered by Bing in the future.
Headline image via Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty Images
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