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“The Internet is in English”

It’s easy to fall under this illusion. Even though this statement used to hold true in the 90s, nowadays it doesn’t reflect the reality. Today only 35% of the internet’s content is in English, and this number continues to diminish. The internet is by far the biggest platform for global communication, but it is diverging. Communities all around the world are producing more and more content in their own native language. While browsing in English used to be the best way for people to access desired content, nowadays it’s not necessary. 74% of customers worldwide choose to search in their own language, and in some countries, even choose local search engines over Google (in 2013 both Baidu and Yandex had 62% of market shares in their countries of origin).

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At this point, we all know how perilous it can be to ignore international markets, no matter what country you’re based it. While English is the predominant language on the web, the fact is that by focusing only on the English-speaking world, you’re losing out on billions of potential customers.

Only 12% of the world speaks English, and only 10% of internet users are from the U.S. That means that if you’re not focused on international countries or languages, you’re ignoring 90% of the world’s population. Imagine if you could reach that 90% — how fast would you grow? How much money would you make? The answer is, likely, a lot.

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No matter what country you’re based in, when expanding to an international customer base, figuring out payments can be a pain. While it’s easy for American customers to pay American companies, if you’re based outside of the U.S., or you’re trying to collect payments from the billions of people who aren’t American, your options become very limited.

Grand Central Station in New York City. NYC inhabitants represent hundreds of different nationalities. Many people consider it the most diverse city in the world. It’s also a home to around 800 languages.

You’re excited to take your business international, but you know that step is a big transition from operating domestically. Your marketing department may be well suited for connecting with your current audience, but you need to know whether they can adapt to the marketing expectations of different cultures. When you’re looking at your marketing department to figure out who should head up your international marketing efforts, here are five key characteristics to look for.

Just in time for the holidays, we’ve released the feature you’ve all been asking for. It’s now easy as pie to find that document or snippet you’re trying to find. Yep, we’re talking all-powerful search.

Whether you need to find an order or just find a word deep within a text, it’ll just take a second. You can filter by date, target or source language, and in progress or completed orders.

 

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Tilt (formerly known as Crowdtilt), is a crowdfunding app that makes it easy for groups and communities to collect money from people. Like Kickstarter, people pledge an amount but the money is only collected if the goal is met. But Tilt focuses on a more personal and simple type of crowdfunding (they’ve gained the most traction with college students). Campaigns range “from things as profound as helping people in Nepal to as frivolous of a keg party,” says David Lee, one of Tilt’s investors.

Even though the crowdfunding space is crowded, Tilt is steadily growing and earlier this year raised $30 million at a $400 million valuation. They plan to use that wad of cash to ramp up their global expansion efforts.

unbabelLately we have added a lot of awesome people to the Unbabel team, and as anyone who’s been at a fast growing startup knows, bringing in new employees will often highlight changes we can make to improve our business. We also have a distributed team, so making sure we are all on the same page is even more important. We felt the need to align everyone on the same goals, and OKRs felt like the best option to do this.

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We recently published a primer for businesses thinking about expanding to China. There was one (big) thing we left out: how to handle social media. Obviously, this is important. Particularly in China, social rules everything.

Social media is essential to succeeding as a business in China. By and large, the country skipped the desktop era and went straight to mobile, basically bypassing the browser all together. When thinking about doing business in China, social media needs to be at the very foundation of your strategy.