Globalization VS Localization In Content: Understanding The Differences

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In the ever-expanding digital landscape, businesses grapple with the intricacies of content dissemination, navigating the dichotomy of Globalization vs Localization in Content: Understanding the Differences. As we delve into this dynamic discourse, the globalized flow of information collides with the need for localized resonance. This article aims to unravel the nuances of these two pivotal strategies, shedding light on their evolution, impact, and the delicate balance required for successful implementation. In an age where borders blur but cultural distinctions persist, understanding how to craft content that transcends global boundaries while respecting local sensibilities is paramount. Let’s embark on a journey to decode the complexities of content globalization and localization.

Globalization VS Localization In Content

Defining Globalization and Localization

Globalization and localization, as terms in the realm of content creation, are pivotal concepts that set the stage for understanding the intricacies of reaching diverse audiences in the digital era.

Globalization involves tailoring content to achieve a universal appeal, transcending geographical and cultural boundaries. It’s a strategy that aims to create content that resonates with audiences worldwide. This approach goes beyond mere translation; it seeks to understand and adapt to the cultural nuances, preferences, and expectations of a global audience.

On the other hand, localization is about adapting content to cater specifically to regional or local audiences. This goes beyond language translation, encompassing elements like cultural references, idioms, and even design choices that align with the local context. The goal is to make content feel as native and relatable as possible to individuals within a specific geographic or cultural setting.

Understanding these fundamental definitions sets the groundwork for exploring how businesses navigate the intricate balance between these two strategies to create content that is both globally relevant and locally resonant.

The Evolution of Globalization and Localization

To comprehend the current landscape of Globalization vs. Localization in Content, it’s imperative to trace the evolution of these strategies. The journey from traditional media to the digital age has reshaped how businesses approach content creation and dissemination.

In the early days, content was primarily crafted with local audiences in mind. The limitations of traditional media, such as newspapers, radio, and television, restricted the reach of content to specific regions. However, with the advent of the internet and the globalization of information, a paradigm shift occurred.

Globalization gained prominence as businesses sought to capitalize on the borderless nature of the digital realm. The internet became a conduit for content to traverse the globe, enabling businesses to reach audiences beyond their immediate geographic vicinity. This era witnessed a surge in global marketing campaigns, catering to a diverse and widespread consumer base.

Conversely, as the digital landscape expanded, so did the importance of localization. The realization dawned that a one-size-fits-all approach was insufficient in a world where cultural diversity reigns. Businesses recognized the need to tailor content to specific regions, accounting for linguistic, cultural, and socio-economic differences.

Today, the evolution continues. Social media platforms, e-commerce, and instant communication have further blurred the lines between global and local. The challenge lies in navigating this complex landscape, understanding when to embrace the universality of globalization and when to pivot towards the specificity of localization. 

Importance of Striking the Right Balance

In the intricate dance between Globalization and Localization in Content, finding the optimal balance is a perpetual challenge for businesses seeking to engage a diverse audience. Striking this equilibrium is not merely a theoretical consideration; it’s a practical necessity for content to resonate globally while maintaining relevance at the local level.

One of the key challenges businesses face is the risk of cultural misinterpretation. Overemphasizing globalization without due consideration for local sensibilities can lead to misunderstandings, alienation, and, in some cases, reputational damage. Conversely, a myopic focus on localization may limit a brand’s potential reach, missing out on opportunities in broader markets.

Achieving the right balance requires a nuanced understanding of the target audience. Businesses must conduct comprehensive market research to identify cultural nuances, preferences, and trends that influence content consumption. In doing so, they can tailor their content to align with global themes while incorporating localized elements that resonate with specific demographics.

Moreover, the advent of social media amplifies the need for balance. A misstep in a global campaign can quickly escalate on a global scale, impacting brand perception. Conversely, a well-executed localized campaign has the potential to create a ripple effect, fostering a sense of connection and loyalty among local audiences.

Successful global brands exemplify the art of striking this balance. They manage to create content that transcends borders yet feels intimately connected to the cultural fabric of diverse regions. As we explore the nuances of cultural sensitivity in the next section, it becomes evident that achieving this balance is not a static goal but an ongoing process that demands adaptability and a deep understanding of the global-local dynamic.

Cultural Sensitivity in Globalization

At the heart of effective Globalization in Content lies the crucial aspect of cultural sensitivity. While the aim is to transcend cultural barriers and connect with a global audience, this journey necessitates a profound understanding of diverse cultural contexts.

Failure to exercise cultural sensitivity can result in content that, while well-intentioned, may inadvertently offend or alienate certain audiences. Humor, imagery, and even color choices can carry different meanings in various cultures, making it imperative for businesses to conduct thorough cultural assessments before launching global campaigns.

One notable example is the linguistic nuances that exist across different regions. A word that carries a positive connotation in one language might have a drastically different meaning in another. Cultural sensitivity in language extends beyond translation; it involves an appreciation of idioms, colloquialisms, and the subtleties that define effective communication within a specific cultural context.

Moreover, visual elements play a significant role in global content. Imagery, symbols, and design choices can carry cultural significance that may not be universally understood. For instance, a color that symbolizes celebration in one culture might signify mourning in another. Businesses must tread carefully, ensuring that visual elements resonate positively across diverse cultural landscapes.

Successful global brands navigate these challenges by investing in cultural research, often collaborating with local experts to ensure that their content is not only linguistically accurate but also culturally relevant. As we explore the practical strategies for effective content localization in the next section, it becomes evident that cultural sensitivity is the cornerstone of a successful global content strategy.

Tailoring Content for Local Audiences

Localization, as a content strategy, goes beyond linguistic translation. It involves a meticulous process of tailoring content to suit the preferences, values, and expectations of local audiences. This section explores practical strategies for effective content localization, emphasizing the need for in-depth research and adaptation.

  • Understanding Local Idioms and Expressions: Language is rich with idioms and expressions that may not have direct equivalents in other languages. A successful localization strategy involves not only translating words but also capturing the essence of these colloquialisms to maintain authenticity.
  • Adapting to Cultural Preferences: Different cultures have distinct preferences in terms of content consumption. Whether it’s the preferred content format, tone, or narrative style, businesses must align their content with the cultural expectations of the target audience to create a more immersive and relatable experience.
  • Addressing Localized Pain Points: Effective localization goes beyond language and aesthetics; it involves addressing specific pain points or challenges that are relevant to the local audience. Understanding the unique needs of a region allows businesses to tailor their content to provide solutions or insights that resonate.
  • Customizing Visual Elements: Visual appeal plays a significant role in content engagement. Localization demands a keen understanding of how visual elements are perceived in different cultures. This includes adapting imagery, color schemes, and even design layouts to align with local sensibilities.
  • Leveraging Local Influencers: Collaborating with local influencers or thought leaders can add authenticity to localized content. Influencers often have a deep understanding of their audience and can provide valuable insights into crafting content that resonates at the grassroots level.
  • Navigating Regulatory and Legal Considerations: Beyond cultural nuances, localization must also address legal and regulatory aspects specific to each region. This involves compliance with local laws, data protection regulations, and any other legal considerations that may impact content delivery.

By incorporating these strategies, businesses can go beyond surface-level translation and create content that feels native to the audience. The key is to approach localization as a comprehensive adaptation process that takes into account the unique cultural and contextual factors of each target region.

Globalization and Digital Marketing

In the contemporary landscape, the impact of globalization on digital marketing strategies is profound. The interconnected nature of the digital world presents businesses with unprecedented opportunities to reach international markets and engage with a diverse audience. This section explores the symbiotic relationship between globalization and digital marketing, shedding light on key considerations and effective strategies.

  • Global Reach through Social Media: Social media platforms serve as global communication hubs, allowing businesses to connect with audiences worldwide. Globalization in digital marketing involves leveraging these platforms to disseminate content, engage with audiences, and build a global brand presence.
  • Multilingual Content Strategies: As businesses expand their digital footprint globally, adopting multilingual content strategies becomes imperative. This involves creating content in multiple languages to ensure that it resonates with diverse language-speaking communities, enhancing accessibility and engagement.
  • Cross-Border E-Commerce: The rise of e-commerce has facilitated cross-border transactions, enabling businesses to tap into international markets. Globalization in digital marketing encompasses strategies to optimize e-commerce platforms for global audiences, addressing payment preferences, shipping logistics, and cultural nuances.
  • Global Campaigns with Local Relevance: While the overarching theme of a marketing campaign may be global, successful strategies involve infusing local relevance. This entails tailoring messaging, visuals, and promotional offers to align with the cultural and societal norms of specific regions.
  • Data-Driven Global Marketing: The use of data analytics allows businesses to understand consumer behaviors and preferences on a global scale. Data-driven insights inform marketing strategies, enabling businesses to refine their approach based on real-time feedback and market trends.
  • Localization of Ad Campaigns: Global digital advertising campaigns benefit from localization efforts. This includes adapting ad copy, visuals, and calls-to-action to suit the linguistic and cultural nuances of different regions, enhancing the effectiveness of digital advertising on a global scale.
  • Global Influencer Collaborations: Engaging influencers transcends borders, offering businesses a unique opportunity to leverage global influencers who resonate with diverse audiences. Collaborations with influencers who have an international appeal contribute to the global reach of digital marketing efforts.

The synergy between globalization and digital marketing underscores the need for businesses to embrace a holistic approach. While the digital realm offers expansive reach, the effectiveness of global marketing efforts lies in the ability to understand and connect with audiences at the local level. 

The Impact of Localization on SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a pivotal role in ensuring content visibility and discoverability in the vast digital landscape. Localization strategies significantly influence the effectiveness of SEO efforts, shaping how businesses are found and engaged with on search engines.

  • Local Keyword Research: Effective localization in SEO begins with thorough local keyword research. Identifying and incorporating region-specific keywords into content, meta tags, and headers enhances the visibility of the content in local search results, aligning with the search terms used by the target audience.
  • Geo-Targeting Strategies: Search engines prioritize results based on geographical relevance. Businesses can leverage geo-targeting strategies to ensure that their content appears prominently in searches conducted within specific regions. This involves configuring website settings and content delivery based on the user’s location.
  • Localized Content Creation: Creating content that speaks directly to local audiences is integral to successful localization in SEO. This includes producing blog posts, articles, and other content that addresses topics of local interest and relevance, thereby establishing credibility and authority within the local context.
  • Citation Building for Local SEO: Building local citations, such as business directories and listings, is crucial for local SEO. Consistent and accurate information across online platforms establishes trust with search engines and enhances the likelihood of appearing in local search results.
  • Optimizing for Mobile and Local Search: The prevalence of mobile devices has led to an increase in local searches. Optimizing content for mobile devices and ensuring that local search features (such as Google My Business) are fully utilized enhances visibility in local search results, especially for users on the go.
  • User Experience and Site Localization: User experience (UX) is a key factor in SEO rankings. Businesses that prioritize site localization, including language preferences, currency, and cultural nuances, contribute to a positive user experience. Search engines recognize and reward websites that prioritize user satisfaction.
  • Backlink Building with Local Relevance: Backlinks remain a critical component of SEO. Businesses can enhance their local SEO by building backlinks from reputable local sources, associations, and industry-specific directories. This not only boosts credibility but also signals relevance to local search algorithms.

Understanding the intricacies of localization in SEO is essential for businesses seeking to optimize their online presence for diverse local audiences. 

Overcoming Challenges in Global Content Delivery

While the concept of global content delivery promises expansive reach, it comes with its set of challenges that businesses must navigate to ensure seamless and effective dissemination of content on a global scale.

  • Linguistic Barriers: Language is a fundamental aspect of global content delivery, and linguistic barriers can impede communication. Businesses must ensure accurate translation and localization of content to convey their message clearly, avoiding misunderstandings that may arise from language nuances.
  • Cultural Sensitivities: Diverse cultural landscapes necessitate a nuanced approach to content. What resonates positively in one culture may be perceived differently in another. Overcoming cultural sensitivities involves in-depth cultural research and a commitment to crafting content that is respectful and inclusive.
  • Technical Constraints and Infrastructure: Variations in internet connectivity and infrastructure across regions can pose challenges to content delivery. Businesses must optimize their digital assets, such as websites and applications, to accommodate diverse technical landscapes and ensure a seamless user experience globally.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Adhering to different legal and regulatory frameworks is a critical consideration in global content delivery. Privacy laws, data protection regulations, and content restrictions vary globally, requiring businesses to navigate a complex legal landscape to ensure compliance.
  • Time Zone Differences: Coordinating content delivery across different time zones presents logistical challenges. Timing is crucial for the effectiveness of campaigns, and businesses must strategize to ensure that content reaches audiences at optimal times, maximizing engagement.
  • Adapting to Local Content Preferences: Understanding the diverse content consumption habits and preferences of global audiences is vital. Tailoring content formats, lengths, and styles to align with local preferences contributes to greater engagement and resonance.
  • Investment in Global Infrastructure: Building a robust global infrastructure is a strategic imperative for seamless content delivery. This involves investing in content delivery networks (CDNs), cloud services, and other technologies that optimize the speed and accessibility of content across the globe.

Successful global content delivery requires a holistic approach that addresses these challenges with precision and adaptability. Businesses that invest in overcoming linguistic, cultural, technical, and regulatory hurdles are better positioned to leverage the opportunities that come with a global audience. 

Real-world Examples of Successful Globalization

Examining real-world examples provides valuable insights into the practical application of globalization strategies. Successful global brands showcase how effective globalization goes beyond theory, influencing consumer perceptions and establishing a brand’s presence on the global stage.

  • Coca-Cola: A Universally Shared Experience
    • Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign exemplifies global personalization. By replacing its logo with popular names in different languages, the campaign not only appealed to individuality but also transcended language barriers. This approach turned a global brand into a personalized experience, fostering a sense of connection across diverse cultures.
  • McDonald’s: Localized Menu Offerings
    • McDonald’s adapts its menu to cater to local tastes and cultural preferences. In India, for example, where beef consumption is limited, the menu features a range of vegetarian options. This localized approach ensures that McDonald’s remains culturally relevant and resonates with the diverse preferences of its global customer base.
  • Nike: Embracing Cultural Diversity in Marketing
    • Nike’s marketing campaigns celebrate diversity and inclusivity. The brand’s “You Can’t Stop Us” campaign seamlessly blends visuals from various sports and cultures, sending a powerful message of unity. By embracing cultural diversity, Nike resonates with audiences worldwide, fostering a global community of athletes.
  • Netflix: Tailoring Content for Global Audiences
    • Netflix excels in content localization, producing region-specific shows and movies that cater to diverse cultural tastes. Original content in languages other than English, such as Spanish-language series like “Money Heist,” demonstrates the platform’s commitment to providing content that reflects the cultural richness of its global audience.
  • Apple: Seamless Product Localization
    • Apple’s approach to product localization extends beyond language translation. The company customizes product features, interfaces, and even advertising to align with local cultural expectations. This meticulous attention to detail ensures that Apple products seamlessly integrate into the daily lives of users worldwide.

These examples highlight that successful globalization is not a one-size-fits-all approach but a dynamic strategy that embraces diversity. By personalizing experiences, adapting products and content to local tastes, and celebrating cultural inclusivity, these brands have effectively navigated the global landscape. 

The Role of Technology in Content Globalization and Localization

In an era dominated by technological advancements, the role of technology in content globalization and localization cannot be overstated. Innovations in tools, automation, and digital platforms have revolutionized the way businesses approach and execute their global content strategies.

  • Translation and Localization Tools
    • Advanced translation tools, such as neural machine translation (NMT), have significantly improved the accuracy and efficiency of content translation. These tools not only translate words but also consider context, idioms, and cultural nuances, facilitating more authentic and contextually relevant content.
  • Content Management Systems (CMS)
    • CMS platforms streamline the process of managing and updating content across multiple languages and regions. They enable businesses to centralize content creation, making it easier to implement changes and ensure consistency in messaging across diverse markets.
  • Global Marketing Automation
    • Marketing automation platforms help businesses orchestrate and automate marketing campaigns on a global scale. These tools enable the scheduling of content releases, social media posts, and email campaigns based on the specific time zones and preferences of target audiences.
  • Digital Asset Management (DAM)
    • DAM systems facilitate the organization and distribution of digital assets, including images, videos, and multimedia content. This is particularly valuable in global content delivery, ensuring that assets are accessible, appropriately localized, and comply with regional regulations.
  • Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)
    • AR and VR technologies offer immersive experiences that can be tailored to local preferences. Businesses can leverage these technologies to create virtual showrooms, product demonstrations, or interactive experiences that resonate with diverse audiences on a global scale.
  • Data Analytics for Personalization
    • Data analytics tools provide valuable insights into user behaviors, preferences, and engagement patterns. By analyzing data on a global scale, businesses can tailor their content to individual preferences, ensuring that their global audience receives content that is relevant and resonant.
  • Collaboration Platforms
    • Cloud-based collaboration platforms facilitate seamless communication and collaboration among global teams. This is crucial for businesses managing content creation, localization, and marketing across different regions, ensuring efficient workflows and timely delivery.

The integration of technology not only expedites the content globalization and localization processes but also enhances accuracy and precision. Businesses that leverage these technological advancements gain a competitive edge in crafting content that is not only globally accessible but also resonates with the diverse preferences of local audiences.

Challenges in Maintaining Brand Consistency Globally

While globalization offers unparalleled opportunities for brand expansion, maintaining brand consistency across diverse cultural landscapes poses significant challenges. The seamless integration of a brand’s identity on a global scale requires a delicate balance between uniformity and adaptation.

  • Cultural Sensitivity vs. Brand Consistency
    • Striking a balance between cultural sensitivity and brand consistency is a perpetual challenge. While localization demands an understanding and adaptation to local cultures, businesses must ensure that core brand values and messaging remain consistent to prevent dilution or misalignment.
  • Adapting to Regional Regulations
    • Global brands operate within a myriad of regulatory environments. Adapting content to comply with diverse legal and regulatory frameworks is essential, but this must be done without compromising the essence of the brand. Navigating these regulatory landscapes while maintaining brand integrity requires meticulous planning.
  • Consistent Visual Identity Across Cultures
    • Visual elements, such as logos, color schemes, and imagery, are integral to a brand’s identity. Adapting these visual elements to suit local preferences without losing the recognizable brand identity is a challenge. Consistency in visual branding ensures instant recognition and trust among consumers.
  • Brand Tone and Voice
    • The tone and voice used in brand communication convey a specific personality and style. Adapting this to resonate with diverse audiences while preserving the brand’s unique voice requires a nuanced approach. Striking the right balance ensures that the brand remains authentic and relatable.
  • Localized Marketing Messaging
    • Tailoring marketing messages to suit local nuances is essential for engagement. However, ensuring that these localized messages align with the overarching brand narrative can be challenging. Consistent messaging reinforces brand recall and fosters a unified brand image.
  • Managing Global Team Collaboration
    • Global brands often operate with teams dispersed across different regions. Coordinating these teams to ensure a cohesive brand strategy and consistent implementation of branding elements can be challenging. Effective communication and collaboration are crucial to maintain alignment.
  • Consumer Perception and Expectations
    • Consumer perceptions of a brand may vary based on cultural, societal, and historical factors. Managing these diverse expectations while delivering a consistent brand experience requires businesses to be attuned to local sentiment and responsive to evolving consumer preferences.

Overcoming these challenges requires a holistic approach that considers both global and local dynamics. Businesses must establish clear brand guidelines, invest in cross-cultural training, and leverage technology to facilitate seamless collaboration.

Measuring the ROI of Globalization and Localization Efforts

Quantifying the Return on Investment (ROI) of globalization and localization efforts is essential for businesses to assess the effectiveness of their strategies, allocate resources efficiently, and refine their approach. While ROI measurement in the realm of content can be multifaceted, several key metrics provide valuable insights into the success of global content strategies.

  • Website Traffic and Engagement
    • Analyzing website traffic and user engagement metrics provides a tangible measure of the effectiveness of global content strategies. Increases in website visits, page views, and time spent on the site can indicate that content resonates with the target audience in diverse regions.
  • Conversion Rates
    • Conversion rates, whether measured through form submissions, e-commerce transactions, or other desired actions, directly reflect the impact of content on user behavior. Tracking conversions across different regions allows businesses to gauge the success of localized content in driving desired outcomes.
  • Social Media Metrics
    • Social media platforms offer valuable data on content performance. Metrics such as likes, shares, comments, and follower growth can indicate the level of engagement and resonance of content on a global scale. Tracking these metrics across regions provides insights into localized content effectiveness.
  • Brand Sentiment Analysis
    • Monitoring brand sentiment through social listening tools or surveys helps assess how the audience perceives the brand. Positive sentiment indicates that the content aligns with local expectations and values, contributing to a positive brand image.
  • Localization Cost vs. Revenue Impact
    • Evaluating the costs associated with localization efforts against the revenue generated from global markets provides a direct measure of the financial impact. A positive correlation between localization investment and revenue growth signifies a favorable ROI.
  • Customer Retention and Loyalty
    • Retaining customers and fostering brand loyalty are crucial for long-term success. Metrics such as customer retention rates, repeat purchases, and customer satisfaction scores offer insights into the effectiveness of global content strategies in building lasting connections.
  • Search Engine Ranking Improvements
    • Enhancements in search engine rankings, particularly in local search results, indicate the success of SEO and localization efforts. Improved visibility in diverse regions demonstrates that content is effectively tailored to meet local search queries.
  • User Feedback and Surveys
    • Direct feedback from users, obtained through surveys or feedback forms, provides qualitative insights into how well content resonates with different audiences. Understanding user perceptions helps refine content strategies for better alignment with diverse expectations.

By systematically tracking these metrics and conducting regular assessments, businesses can gain a comprehensive understanding of the ROI of their globalization and localization efforts. This data-driven approach not only informs strategic decision-making but also facilitates continuous optimization for enhanced global content performance. 


Navigating the dynamic interplay of Globalization vs. Localization is imperative for businesses in the global marketplace. From defining these strategies to uncovering their nuances, challenges, and strategies, this exploration emphasizes the delicate balance needed. Real-world examples underscore the transformative power of innovation, while addressing FAQs fosters clarity. Measurement of ROI provides a tangible framework for assessing content initiatives. In conclusion, mastering the art of global-local synergy demands adaptability and cultural acumen. As businesses navigate this dynamic landscape, embracing change and leveraging technology as an enabler are paramount for sustained success in connecting with diverse audiences globally.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the main difference between globalization and localization in content?

A: The main difference lies in the scope of the audience each strategy targets. Globalization aims to create content with universal appeal, transcending cultural and geographical boundaries. In contrast, localization involves adapting content to specific regions, considering language, cultural nuances, and local preferences.

Q: How does technology facilitate the globalization and localization of content?

A: Technology plays a crucial role in content globalization and localization by providing advanced translation tools, content management systems, marketing automation platforms, and data analytics. These technologies streamline processes, enhance accuracy, and enable businesses to tailor content efficiently for global audiences.

Q: What challenges do businesses face in maintaining brand consistency globally?

A: Maintaining brand consistency globally poses challenges such as balancing cultural sensitivity with brand identity, adapting to regional regulations, ensuring a consistent visual identity, managing global team collaboration, and addressing diverse consumer perceptions and expectations.

Q: How can businesses measure the ROI of globalization and localization efforts?

A: Businesses can measure the ROI by analyzing website traffic and engagement, conversion rates, social media metrics, brand sentiment, the impact of localization costs on revenue, customer retention and loyalty, improvements in search engine rankings, and user feedback through surveys.

Q: Why is it important for businesses to strike the right balance between globalization and localization?

A: Striking the right balance is essential to ensure that content resonates globally while remaining culturally relevant locally. Overemphasizing one strategy over the other can lead to misinterpretations, alienation, and missed opportunities. The balance enables businesses to connect with a diverse audience without compromising brand integrity.

Q: How can businesses address linguistic barriers in global content strategies?

A: Businesses can address linguistic barriers by utilizing advanced translation tools, conducting thorough linguistic research, and ensuring that content is not only accurately translated but also considers language nuances, idioms, and cultural sensitivities.

Q: What role does cultural sensitivity play in content globalization and localization?

A: Cultural sensitivity is crucial in crafting content that respects and aligns with diverse cultural contexts. Failure to exercise cultural sensitivity can lead to misunderstandings or even offense. Adapting content to resonate with local cultures fosters positive engagement and acceptance.

Navigating these frequently asked questions provides businesses with a foundation for developing a nuanced and informed approach to content globalization and localization. As we conclude this comprehensive exploration, it’s evident that understanding the intricacies of these strategies is key to unlocking the full potential of global content initiatives.

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