Facebook - Local Language Experience
Facebook provides localize experience through various features and functionalities. It uses also language as a core component of local experience. Facebook is available in 11 Indian languages such as Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada and Tamil. However, it provides based on location and it does not provide control to the users.
The other day I changed my Facebook account password due to privacy issue from desktop website. After that I was accessing Facebook through mobile browser and I was surprised to see a screen having content in Kannada. The screen consisting content in Kannada appeared automatically. Though I am big fan of Kannada Language and learning common terminologies for everyday life, I could not read the language. Thus, I tried to check how could I change this interface to English. However, I failed completely.
I had expectation to change language from settings icon. However, I was unable to see change language option. I did back and forth few times as I was stuck on the screen. Finally, I decided to type newly set password and thought it might be asking the same. My assumption was right at the end and was able to see Facebook homepage after that.
- Changing language without user’s consent or knowledge could lead to bad experience.
- Automatic Language change based on just location could be a wrong assumption as country like India would have different people living in cities from different states. Thus, predicting language based on location might be a wrong assumption. Even if you auto change language, there should be an option to change language. Thus, user should be able to understand content properly in their preferred language.
What could have been improvised:
- Language could have been changed based on the usage of Facebook posts. Let’s say if user is posting various posts in Hindi then they might be more inclined towards Hindi and that could have been more logical than just based on language.
- Even if Facebook decides to change language automatically based on geography and posts, there should be a feature to change language and this feature needs to have easy discovery.