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Flickr goes multilingual

The photo-sharing website, until now available only in English, has launched new versions of its product in seven languages.

tech reviews Updated: Jun 12, 2007 19:52 IST

The photo-sharing website Flickr, until now available only in English, launched new versions of its popular product in seven languages Tuesday, in a bid to be more accessible to users around the world. "It's thrilling," Flickr founder Stewart Butterfield told AFP.

"This is something we wanted to do a long time ago. It is also one of our most requested features." Along with English, Flickr websites now will be available in French, German, Korean, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and traditional Chinese. Offering its website in more languages will allow Flickr to expand its fan base beyond its "global English-speaking tech-savvy audience," according to Butterfield.

"Tech enthusiasts in Buenos Aires, Paris - all over the world use Flickr, but for their families and friends it has been a pain in the butt," Butterfield said.

"Now the grandma who doesn't speak English at all can take advantage of our features and more easily do things such as save her grandchildren's pictures or upload some of her own."

Butterfield estimated that with the expanded languages Flickr now had web pages tailored to 90 per cent of its users.

California-based Internet titan Yahoo bought Flickr in 2005 and the website claims 8.7 million registered users, more than half of them living outside the United States. Approximately 24.8 million people visit Flickr monthly, according to marketing research firm comScore.

"Flickr's growth is outstanding and we still have a lot of gas in the tank," said Butterfield. Yahoo announced in May that it is closing its photo-sharing service Yahoo Photos and will help users move pictures to Flickr or elsewhere on the Internet in the coming months.

"We will have our hands full operationally," Butterfield said of the coming job of shifting Yahoo Photos images to Flickr. "The bottom line is for the user to be happy," he said.