Twitter’s experimentation with Bing’s translation engine is accelerating. As reported first by CNET today, users of Twitter’s iOS app now can view Bing translations of tweets, a feature that was quietly added to the Android app last month.
That the move comes as the FIFA World Cup begins is likely not coincidental. The month-long soccer tournament is expected to be the most discussed social media sporting event ever and the conversation will be multilingual. Twitter stands to gain by helping to bridge language barriers and although online translations can be inexact, having the ability to quickly understand the gist of a message is a valuable feature.
Up to now accessing the translation required users to click into the tweet and then click the View Translation link — and that’s still true on mobile devices — but Twitter has simplified the process on the Timelines of desktop users. Now if you are on Twitter.com, you can view the translation in-stream by clicking the link next to the globe icon. Currently, the inline feature doesn’t work within Twitter search but that will likely change if and when Twitter makes it an official part of its product.