“Everyone is Local”
That’s the tagline for Ortsbo, a new social media translation platform that works in real time. The client allows a person to chat online with a group of friends who all speak different languages. Each person types in their native language and the software automatically translates the text to suit each of the individuals in the chat.
Currently, the free client interacts with Windows Live Messenger, Facebook, and Google Talk and it translates over 50 different languages. Now in Beta, the site is generating revenue through sponsorships and advertising.
For a fee of $29.95, you can get a Ortsbo plug-in for Microsoft Outlook which will allow you to display an email in two languages, your own and that of the recipient. Showing both languages is a nice touch as it can help avoid confusion when slang terms are literally translated. Ortsbo will also customize and license their application to businesses who want to use it within their own websites.
From a marketing standpoint, Ortsbo is an interesting combination of global and local as their tagline implies. It gives the marketer a chance to connect one-on-one with customers either to promote sales or offer support but it also allows you to move outside of your current market. And you don’t have to have an international client base to make use of the product. With the rise in Hispanic and Asian populations here in the US, Ortsbo could be exactly what you need to connect with the people in your own neighborhood.