Facebook is always full of little localization/location-sensitive tricks. I started to take notice a few years ago on a trip to Mexico when I was asked if I’d like to change my language to Spanish. At the time, it appeared that facebook used Geotargeting to figure out where in the world you were. They still do this and also have an arsenal of methodologies they test to make it easier for people to connect to you.
- What’s your Japanese name?
One of the languages I’ve put on my facebook profile is Nihongo, or Japanese. This prompted facebook to ask me if I had a Japanese name, which undoubtedly would make it easier for Japanese users to connect with me on facebook, if I were of Japanese descent.
- One-time use QR codes
On a recent trip to Japan, I noticed several things popped up in the sidebar while communicating on facebook. One of the things that stuck out was a one-time QR code that allowed me to log in on my Japanese mobile phone
- What Train Station is nearest to you?
On that same recent trip, after changing my current home location to Tokyo, Japan, facebook asked what train station was closest to me.
- Questions about residence
Facebook is also curious about where you live. Especially for serving up ads. Again, while traveling, I noted that facebook asked me where I lived in order for them to serve up ads relevant to me. ‘Have you moved to Singapore?’ is what came up last time I opened up facebook in China – I was using a proxy server in Singapore to bypass the Great Firewall of China.
So why is this all important? facebook is already looking to the future – where the bulk of Internet users will not be in North America and likely won’t even speak English. As it stands, more that 75% of users are outside the United States.
Find out more on facebook’s own statistics page, HERE.