The world’s trendiest social networking site went desi on Friday. Facebook has introduced new features that can help members navigate in Hindi, Tamil and other regional Indian languages such as Bengali, Punjabi, Malayalam and Telugu.
Users can change language settings through the ‘settings’ tab or through the language option on their Facebook homepage.
In the increasingly multilingual Web, one can already cut and paste Tamil and Hindi scripts. The latest move helps instructions for browsing in Indian languages, but Facebook is not yet enabled for transliteration, which enables instant conversion of the English script turning into phonetic-based texts in other languages.
Facebook users can only browse through the site in the five regional languages and not message each other or update their status yet. Rival Google’s social networking site Orkut has Indian language transliteration in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.
Facebook is the second most popular networking site in India after Orkut, according to market research firm comScore.
Orkut recorded 12.8 million visitors of the total 19.3 million on social networking sites in India at the end of 2008 — three times that of Facebook, which recorded 4 million visitors.