December 08, 2008

FriendFeed Extends World Domination Strategy With New Languages

Despite FriendFeed being available only in English since its debut in October of 2007, almost one third of the service's users use the site in a language other than English, according to co-founder Bret Taylor. As of this morning, the service now also supports six of the most popular non-English languages, in an effort to spur more global growth. Those debuting today include German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Russian and simplified Chinese.

Users who prefer a language other than English can select their language at the bottom of every page, or through the account settings at Bret says the new languages will also automatically appear for users whose browsers are set to use one of the newly supported languages.

FriendFeed has opted to make the language setting operate within the main domain, rather than branching out to country-based sites, such as,, and the like. The hope, as Bret writes, is that "offering these new interfaces will improve their experience on FriendFeed, and enable many more people to discover and enjoy FriendFeed in their native language."

In my more than a year of using FriendFeed, the overwhelming majority of users have been operating in English, which would make sense, given I share exclusively English content. What has been intriguing, however is the high amount of Arabic and Farsi commentary that takes place, not just on English-language posts, but during the late hours. While such Middle Eastern languages are not part of this rollout, it sure would be fun to see that tackled.