Microsoft adds post translation and QR code features to LinkedIn

Business networking site taps into Azure cloud services to improve global engagment

LinkedIn on a mobile device

Microsoft's LinkedIn unit has rolled out a new translation feature for the employment networking site that uses Microsoft's cognitive services.

The new dynamic feature is called "See Translation" and will create immediate translations for posts on the site. LinkedIn has over 500 million users worldwide, which is almost double the number of people using Twitter.

"The need for economic opportunity is global, and that is represented by the fact that more than half of LinkedIn's active members live outside of the U.S," engineer Angelika Clayton and tech led Bing Zhao wrote in a blog post.

"Engagement across language barriers and borders comes with a certain set of challenges, one of which is providing a way for members to communicate in their native language. In fact, translation of member posts has been one of our most requested features, and now it's finally here."

See Translation incorporates three central components; language detection, machine translation and feed experience. It uses Azure Text Analytics programming interface, which can detect up to 120 languages and also the Microsoft Translator Text programming interface, which is another one of Microsoft's cognitive services.

The Translator Text API provides the ability to customise the translation models for a certain domain, like a news feed.

LinkedIn also announced the global availability of a QR code feature, which allows users to quickly look up someone they've met without the need to swap business cards or contact details. Scanning other codes or uploading an image of one from your phone will take you straight to that user's profile. The features are available in the LinkedIn iOS and Android apps.

Microsoft purchased LinkedIn in 2016 for a reported $26.2 billion but has allowed the site to largely run independently and allowed it to tap into Azure cloud services.

Pictures: Shutterstock and LinkedIn

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