Twitter has quietly stopped offering users the ability to instantly translate tweets using Bing’s machine translation feature, slightly more than a year after the company started using Microsoft’s technology.
Users began noticing the feature’s absence earlier this week, though Twitter hasn’t said exactly when it stopped offering the service, or why. But one thing is clear: people who want to get tweets translated from a foreign language will have to copy and paste them into a translation service of choice, rather than clicking a button on Twitter’s website.
It’s not clear how much of a problem this will prove to be for the majority of Twitter’s users. Like the other machine translation services out there, Bing Translator usually provides translations that tend to range from slightly flawed to incomprehensible. While it’s clear that some users are missing the translation capabilities, there certainly hasn’t been a massive outcry from around the web.
It’s an interesting move by Twitter, especially considering that Yelp just added Bing Translate functionality to its iPhone app in order to provide translations of reviews that are written in other languages. It’s also entirely possible that Twitter decided to drop Microsoft’s translation program in favor of an in-house solution, or some other vendor’s translation product in the future.
For right now, though, one thing is clear: tweets will go un-translated until further notice.
A representative for Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.