European versions of Facebook launched first in Spanish on Feb. 11, then in German in early March; now, the French version of the hugely popular networking web site is finally at hand.
This brand-new edition, whose creation is due in part to French users, allows the California-based company to complete the first major phase in its plans to go global, as announced last December.
“We have over 4000 contributors working on the French version, and the translation here has been even faster than in Germany,” says Javier Olivan, Director of International Development for Facebook, quoted in the French daily newspaper Les Echos.
This is a critical step for Facebook, which already counts 60% of its users outside the US, including one third in Europe.
“We have 8.3 million active users in the United Kingdom and over 1.5 million French users,” said Olivan.
Multilingualism is an important step for Facebook’s international expansion. Established in 2004, the community site now boasts some 67 million active users. Thanks to free software, millions of European users can now use Facebook in their native tongues.