Not too long ago, the users of the Android and iOS Twitter app had an option to use Microsoft’s Bing translation engine for the purpose of translating tweets. This wasn’t noticeable in the stream of tweets, the possibility of translation appeared only after clicking on a particular tweet and that tweet was individually displayed on the screen. Unfortunately, using the Bing translation engine is no longer a feature that is available and reasons for this are still unknown. Since nobody gave feedback as to why Bing translation was removed, we can do nothing but speculate what were the reasons behind such a move.
Bing translation was unreliable
One of the reasonable explanations for the disappearance of this feature is that the foreign language translations provided by Bing were unreliable or inaccurate. However, we all must admit that finding a reliable translating software which is solely based on AI is impossible. All of the translation services that are swift and accurate usually use machines to gain the first draft of the translation and, afterwards, people step in and rectify the text.
In other words, saying that the translation engine is unreliable for the purposes of translating tweets is just stating the obvious. All of the translation engines are unreliable in the context dependant text area and, since Twitter users mostly tweet about fresh topics, leaving hashtags, etc. Translating tweets only ruins them, meaning that the possibility of gaining a new followers based on a translated tweet is null and void, since the spirit of one’s message usually disappears.
This feature is obsolete
Let us assume that the translation engine can at least transfer the main idea behind one’s tweet, and that, in the process, all of the sarcasm and humor from it are removed… then what? The main idea behind Twitter is that users follow one another and share (retweet) witty tweets. One user chooses to follow another user based on the written content of that person, so why would someone follow a user whose tweets needs to be constantly translated. Tweets contain slangs, metaphors of one language, also their content is connected to the events happening in a particular town or country (of course, not all of them…
When a worldwide event is taking place, the majority of tweets have the same topic. What is implied here is that Twitter users usually have target audience who live in the same area or speak the same language, since it is much easier to express themselves in that manner. It is hard to believe that there is a Spanish user who seeks Japanese profiles and translates them via translation engine for the sake of deciding whether he or she wants to follow that individual.
A possible use for this feature
It would be false to say that this is a completely useless option, since people who have the largest Twitter audience are globally renowned celebrities. Indeed, there are individuals who use their accounts in order to find out what are celebrities doing during the day. Sometimes, they tweet in their native tongue so the translation option could come in handy, and also, there are users who do not understand English and want to know what a particular tweet was all about. So, it is understandable why removing this feature can cause disappointment.
Another reasonable answer to the question “What happened to Bing translation?” is the following. Social networks are constantly trying to improve their services, which means that, by removing this translation engine, we can expect a better version of it in a foreseeable future. Twitter announced the arrival of some new features, like shopping services, for the sake of alluring new users. Twitter is constantly experimenting with these sorts of things, which could mean that the translation option was only an experiment without positive feedback.
All things considered, this was certainly not a feature that hindered the use of this social network, therefore, there was no good reason to remove it in the first place. One must admit that this only suggests a return of the translation service with a note of improvement… Perhaps the Twitter translation center will hire a team of people responsible for translating tweets on request. Despite the fact that the majority of users do not need this item, it can only be useful if it remains.