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Meta Outlines Advances in Language Translation, a Crucial Consideration in Furthering Metaverse Connection

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Meta Outlines Advances in Language Translation, a Crucial Consideration in Furthering Metaverse Connection

Meta’s looking to advance its language translation tools with the launch of a new ‘No Language Left Behind’ AI model, which can translate 200 different languages, while it’s also open sourcing its translation data to further improve its systems, and democratize technological access.

That video is about 3 minutes too long, but the gist is that Meta is looking to advance its translation models to facilitate greater access, not just in the social media platforms of today, but more importantly, within the coming metaverse space.

As explained by Meta:

Language is our lifeline to the world. But because high-quality translation tools don’t exist for hundreds of languages, billions of people today can’t access digital content or participate fully in conversations and communities online in their preferred or native languages. This is particularly an issue for hundreds of millions of people who speak the many languages of Africa and Asia.”

To improve this, Meta has been developing systems that are able to learn language translations from smaller datasets, while it’s also working with native speakers, where possible, to refine its systems.

Which has led to the development of its new translation model

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We’ve built a single AI model called NLLB-200, which translates 200 different languages with results far more accurate than what previous technology could accomplish. When comparing the quality of translations to previous AI research, NLLB-200 scored an average of 44% higher. For some African and Indian-based languages, NLLB-200’s translations were more than 70% more accurate.”

That will expand accessibility to more regions, while also ensuring that lesser used languages live on into the future, another important consideration.

But Meta’s systems alone won’t be able to facilitate full detection and translation of some languages. Which is why Meta is also open sourcing its data to invite more native speakers and experts into the development process.

We’re also awarding up to $200,000 of grants for impactful uses of NLLB-200 to researchers and nonprofit organizations with initiatives focused on sustainability, food security, gender-based violence, education or other areas in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Nonprofits interested in using NLLB-200 to translate two or more African languages, as well as researchers working in linguistics, machine translation and language technology, are invited to apply.”

In combination, these initiatives will help Meta evolve its translation tools, which, eventually, will enable users in the metaverse space to more easily converse and engage, in real-time, through language translation tools.

Google, too, is advancing its efforts on this front, with its translation tools now able to transcribe foreign language speech as it’s happening, providing more ways to interact in the moment.

The hope is that this will eventually facilitate more global connection and opportunity, by removing barriers from connection. But then again, that was the great hope of the internet, and social media as well – that, in providing a means to connect, we would facilitate more understanding and community, by enabling more people to join in the global conversation, and add more perspectives to enrich our understanding.

That’s not quite how things have played out, but there is a unique value to enhanced language translation, especially in regions where many languages are spoken, while it may also, eventually, facilitate Star Trek-like universal translator type tools within metaverse spaces that could open up whole new realms of connection and opportunity, in totally new ways.

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Which is why this is an important project, and while it may be difficult to fully envisage as yet, it is good to see Meta looking to establish translation tools at the foundational level of the metaverse shift.

It could end up being a critical development – you can read more about Meta’s evolving translation process here.

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Meta Launches New Reels Features, Including Stories to Reels Conversion and Improved Analytics

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Meta Launches New Reels Features, Including Stories to Reels Conversion and Improved Analytics

As it works to latch onto the short-form video trend, and negate the rising influence of TikTok, Meta has announced some new updates for Reels, across both Facebook and Instagram, including additional Reels insights, the expansion of the ‘Add Yours’ sticker, and ‘auto-created’ Reels clips. Yes, automatically created Reels videos.

Here’s how the new additions work.

The main addition is the expansion of the ‘Add Yours’ sticker from Stories to Reels, providing another way to prompt engagement from other users via Reels clips.

As you can see in these example images, you’ll now be able to post ‘Add Yours’ questions via Reels clips, while you’ll also be able to view all the various video responses to any prompt in each app.

It could be another way to spark engagement, and lean into the more interactive ethos of the short form video trend. Part of the appeal of TikTok is that it invites people in, with the participatory nature of the app essentially expanding meme engagement, by making it more accessible for users to add their own take.

Meta will be hoping that the ‘Add Yours’ sticker helps to facilitate the same, prompting more engagement with Reels clips.

Next up is auto-created Facebook Reels, which, as it sounds, will enable users to automatically convert their archived Stories into Reels clips.

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Reels updates

As you can see here, you’ll soon see a new ‘Create from Your Story Archive’ prompt in the Reels creation flow, which will then enable you to convert your Stories into Reels clips.

So it’s not exactly wholly automated Reels creation, as it’s just flipping your Stories clips into Reels as well. But it could provide another, simple way for users and brands to create Stories content, utilizing the video assets that they already have to link into the trend.

Worth noting that Meta also recently added a tool to convert your video assets into Reels within Creator Studio.

Meta’s also expanding access to its ‘Stars’ creator donations to Facebook Reels, which is now being opened up to all eligible creators.

Stars donations in Reels

Meta initially announced the coming expansion of Stars to Reels back in June, which will provide another critical monetization pathway for Reels creators. Short form video is not as directly monetizable as longer clips, where you can insert pre and mid-roll adds, so add-on elements like this are key to keeping creators posting, and fueling an ecosystem for such in its apps.

Stars on Reels will be available all creators that have maintained at least 1,000 followers over the last 60 days.

Meta’s also adding new Reels performance insights to Creator Studio, including Reach, Minutes Viewed, and Average Watch Time.

Reels updates

That’ll provide more perspective on what’s working, and what’s not, to help optimize your Reels approach – which could be especially valuable in the coming holiday push.

Lastly, Meta’s also expanding some Reels features that were previously only available in Instagram to Facebook as well.

Crossposting from Instagram to Facebook is now available to all Instagram users, while Meta’s also expanding its Remix option to Facebook Reels also.

Reels updates

As noted, Reels has become a key focus for Meta, as the short-form video trend continues to gain traction, and TikTok continues to rise as a potential competitor. By replicating TikTok’s main elements, Meta’s working to negate its key differentiation, which could ensure that more of its users don’t bother downloading a new app, and just stick with its platforms instead.’

Which, whether you agree with that approach or not, has proven effective. Reels content now makes up more than 20% of the time that people spend on Instagram, while video content, overall, makes up 50% of the time that people spend on Facebook.

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Meta additionally notes that it’s seen a more than 30% increase in engagement time with Reels across both Facebook and Instagram.

Meta doesn’t need to ‘beat’ TikTok as such (as much as it would like to), but it does need to dilute its significance if it can, and make it less appealing for users to have to start yet another new account, and re-build their friends list.

That’s why it’ll continue to replicate TikTok at every turn, because millions of people are currently not going to TikTok because of the presence of Reels in its apps.  

You can learn more about Meta’s new Reels updates here.

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