Facebook to strengthen language capabilities with Jibbigo acquisition

by CXOtoday News Desk    Aug 13, 2013


Social media giant Facebook, announced that it is all set to acquire the Mobile Technologies’ team and technology of mobile speech recognition and translation app Jibbigo. According to a report on Techcrunch.com, Facebook did not disclose the sum of the acquisition or the terms and conditions. The team however, told the website that “it will continue to support the app for the time being”.

Facebook’s Tom Stocky wrote in a Facebook post “I’m excited to announce that we’ve agreed to acquire Mobile Technologies, a company with an amazing team that’s behind some of the world’s leading speech recognition and machine translation technology.”

The Jibbigo team writes “Facebook, with its mission to make the world more open and connected, provides the perfect platform to apply our technology at a truly global scale.”

The app allows users around the world to be able to interact without having to learn the language. This is a major development as with Facebook being increasingly used as a social marketing tool by many e-commerce businesses. Now, marketers can make advertisements in any language and it is automatically relay it in the language of the targeted country.

Mobile Technologies, which was founded in 2001, has developed a number of cross-lingual communication tools, including Jibbigo, the world’s first speech-to-speech translator on a phone that runs online and even offline, independent from the Internet. Travelers around the world use Jibbigo to communicate in foreign countries, and health-care workers overcome the language challenge in humanitarian missions. Mobile Technologies also developed and deployed the first automatic, simultaneous interpretation service for lectures and deployed it in educational settings, so that ideas can transcend nations and cultures.

Mobile app Jibbigo that was launched in 2009 and it is an app that allows users to select from over 25 languages, record a voice snippet in that language or type in some text, and then get a translation displayed on screen and read aloud to you in a language of your choosing.

In a bid to make this world a more connected place, Facebook has been frantically been making many acquisitions, this being the latest one. But language has always been a huge impediment on their path. With this acquisition, Facebook aims to get a step closer to their goal.

“If Facebook can find a way to surmount this hurdle and allow us to communicate despite our different tongues, it could promote greater racial and international tolerance,” writes techcrunch.