Twitter, Amazon Add Spanish Resources

Good Monday morning. It’s May 6th. Sunday is Mother’s Day, which is a day we choose to celebrate all mothers, including the mothers without children. NPR’s Michel Martin called them “special envoy mothers” 10 years ago. These women are not childless or child free, she wrote, but mothers without portfolio, mothers at heart who help raise everyone’s children.

Today’s Spotlight takes about 3 minutes to read.

1. News to Know Now

Google reporting last week experienced multiple problems. At one point on May 2nd, the data from the past two days was suspect. As of late Saturday night, Google’s latest comment was “we are actively working working on correcting data from 12:01 a.m. on May 1 to 4:00 a.m. on May 2 [PDT].” 

We always use two analytics packages for exactly these reasons. This particular issue deals with Google Ads reporting, but we’ve seen Google Analytics issues in the past too. More commonplace is an internal error or typo at an organization that stops an analytics program from collecting data.

CLIENTS: Your Monday morning reports were sent. We will distribute an update this week when Google reports the ad data has been fixed.

Facebook has banned people who post extreme content or hate-related material to large audiences. The ban was already in effect for several people, but this action also removed their accounts from Facebook-owned Instagram. Whether anyone agrees with the people who were banned is irrelevant since companies like Facebook aren’t required to provide free speech protections to users. 

2.  Twitter, Amazon Rolling Out Spanish Resources

Five percent of the world’s largest websites are published in Spanish–more than any other language except English, Russian, and German. Here in the U.S., nearly 50% of Americans speak Spanish, and some states like New Mexico are rapidly approaching 50% Latinx population. In fact, 47 million U.S. citizens are Hispanic.

Twitter announced a partnership this week with Univision to better serve that community.  Twitter has been available in a Spanish interface for more than 10 years, but this programming allows the social media platform to specifically cover the community’s culture.  Univision’s Spanish-language news, sports, and entertainment content will be available as will some video programming. 

Speaking in Spanish (and German and Japanese) is old hat for Amazon’s Alexa, but there was a catch to changing her native language. Unless you also spoke that language or even in that accent, the device might have trouble understanding you.

Now Amazon is testing a U.S. Spanish-language interface for Alexa before rolling out Spanish language support in the U.S. later this year. You can read the announcement at Amazon’s developer website if you know how to read Spanish.

Your organization should be having conversations about whether Spanish resources like a website or social media channels are appropriate. Professional translators are needed for this type of initiative to work. Automated translation is a marvelous way to capture the gist of what is someone is saying, but there are too many nuances involved in language to rely on automation.

We pay careful attention to language in search engine optimization efforts. Consider issues like these in our native language:

  1. A bat is what a baseball player uses to hit a ball or that flying creature you sometimes see at night.
  2. If you do see one of those flying bats, your dog may bark at the sky even if your dog is standing next to a tree covered in bark.
  3. Don’t get us started on homophones like two, too, and to or the Internet grammarian’s favorite: your and you’re.

Hire a translator or people with real fluency.

3. In the Spotlight

  • Web ticketing service Eventbrite had revenue growth but tripled its operating loss in Q1. Financials and analysis at Music Business Worldwide.

  • Google has introduced auto-delete controls for Location History and your Google data. You get to Google Activity Controls at this link. Carefully read before making changes.

  • Four U.S. Senators are asking the IRS and Federal Trade Commission to investigate H&R Block and Turbo Tax-maker Intuit after reports surfaced that the companies hid their free options for low-income people.  We told you about this last week, and you can get caught up with CNBC’s Friday coverage.

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