Facebook has updated its Android app with a feature that will be a treat for its nearly 150 million monthly active users in India. With the new transliteration feature, users will now be able to post Hindi messages while typing in English. This is a very useful feature while conversing in Hindi, but aren’t that well versed in writing. Here’s how to activate and use the Hindi transliteration feature on Facebook.
The transliteration feature is not automatically activated, and requires you to follow a couple of steps. At the top bar, click on the grey button made up of three lines, which opens a menu with quite a few options. Scroll all the way down till you see App Settings listed under the Help & Settings menu.
Click on App Settings and towards the bottom of the screen you will see an option called ‘Hindi keyboard’. Click on the button on the right to activate it. Once activated, go back to the Facebook main page and click on Status. Here notice a small grey keyboard with the letter ‘आ’ on top. Hit the button to post a message or status in Hindi.
But instead of changing the keys to Hindi letters, the keyboard here is the same QWERTY keyboard you use for all the apps. But when you start typing in English the words on screen will appear in the Hindi Devanagari script.
Facebook reveals that the keyboard has been built using feedback from its users, and also warns that it is far from perfect. In the short time we spent using the keyboard we did come across a few errors, but it is fairly easy to correct them as well. Facebook not only suggests Hindi words as and when you are typing, but also offers a detailed chart of Roman characters and their corresponding Devanagari character.
Mobile keyboards with Hindi transliteration feature isn’t exactly a new feature, and Google for one had added it to Android keyboards a few years back. Apple too added the same ability to iOS keyboard with the launch of iOS 9 last year.
Facebook has nearly 150 million monthly active users in India, with over 70 million of them active on a daily basis. A more important statistic is that over 90 percent of these users access Facebook from their mobile phones. While it is no doubt fun to converse in Hindi, typing in Devanagari isn’t the easiest of jobs, and transliteration really helps. While the keyboard is far from perfect at the moment, when more people start using it and suggest better words, the keyboard is bound to get better.
The latest version of Facebook for Android is now available on the Google Play Store.