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Last Updated: Friday, 8 February 2008, 12:07 GMT
Facebook translated into Spanish
Facebook website
Facebook's success means it has spawned many imitators
Facebook has introduced a Spanish version of its popular social networking website as part of efforts to attract new audiences.

It said this was the first of several languages besides English that the site plans to offer, with French and German versions expected soon.

Facebook experienced a huge growth in user numbers during the past year, but now faces stiff competition.

The firm said 60% of its 64 million users were from outside the US.

Global reach

"Our goal has always been to allow people to use Facebook in their native language so we built an application to enable users to participate in translating the site into their local languages and dialects," said Facebook's founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

He said that almost 1,500 Spanish-speaking users on Facebook helped to translate the site from English to Spanish in less than four weeks.

From 11 February, any person who goes to the website from a Spanish-speaking country will automatically see the Spanish version.

The firm said it currently had more than 2.8 million active users in Latin America and Spain.

A similar approach will be taken for the French and German versions.

Bigger rival social network website MySpace is already available in a range of languages, including Spanish, Italian, German and French.

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