The First Time as Tragedy, the Second as Farsi

Status: Persian!!!

Yep, take that, Twitter: Last night, Facebook—this week’s second-most-talked-about social networking site—released a test version of its site available in…Persian. The move is meant to combat the English-centrism of the site: earlier this week, users in Iran were sharing content in Persian…despite the fact that Facebook navigation was only available in English. Now, per the Facebook folks, “Persian speakers inside of Iran and around the world can begin using it in their native language.”

More from a Facebook press release:

Persian was already in translation before worldwide attention turned to the Iranian elections, but because of the sudden increase in activity we decided to launch it sooner than planned. This means that the translation isn’t perfect, but we felt it was important to help more people communicate rather than wait.

Auspicious timing—the move comes at the same time as Google’s addition of Persian to its Google Translate feature.

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.