Coming soon? Facebook translation, message blasts, and more privacy controls

Facebook plans several updates soon, including versions of the site in other languages, a way to send messages to large groups, as well as tools for controlling what friends get to see about you.

Facebook is asking translators globally to join a community of helpers to translate Facebook into different languages (see its new Translations application). This is a clever way for Facebook to get all its language translating done through its users — for free, I assume.

The app is in limited beta, and we haven’t had a chance to look at it first hand. Apparently, though, there’s a sort of group translation process, where app users submit translations for different parts of the site, then other app users vote to approve those translations. Mashable got an early look last month, see its write-up for more details.

A couple of other features will soon be released, as well, according to Inside Facebook’s Justin Smith. The include the following: First, administrators of Facebook groups with more than 1,000 members will be able to send a message to all of those people at once. Previously, Facebook limited the number of people you could message to 1,000.

Second, Facebook will add privacy controls to the “friends lists” feature it introduced last month (our coverage here). The friends lists feature lets you manually create lists of friends, then see things like activity updates for each list. However, it launched without privacy controls for blocking lists — say, of your coworkers — from seeing specific things about you, like your Facebook album photos. Soon, according to Smith, you will be able to control visibility of your profile, photos, and apps for your lists.