At the beginning of March, Facebook launched its new and improved comments plugin for content sites. It brought features like the use of social signals to order comments based on quality, improved moderation tools, the ability to add different log-in options, and better sharing of comments. Apparently a lot of sites have been using it.
"In a little over one month, more than 50,000 websites have added the updated Facebook Comments Box plugin to add social context and authenticity to their commenting systems," a Facebook representative tells WebProNews.
Today, Facebook has launched some updates to the plugin. Facebook says the new features are based on developer feedback to "enhance the experience for both website owners and users."
These include a permalink to specific stories, an API to pull comments, Bigger News Feed stories, a new color scheme option aimed at dark-colored sites, and the addition of Hotmail as a login option.
With the permalinks, users can access specific comments by clicking the timestamp, not unlike accessing status updates on Facebook itself. Notifications will also be tied to the permalink.
With the API, comments can be searched and exported. This way, developers and site owners can "highlight the most interesting comments, perform analysis on the comment stream, reward top commenters, search through existing comments, and use comments to improve SEO on their site," Facebook says.
"News Feed stories generated by Comments activity can now have greater social context, which can increase the click-through-rate (CTR) back to the original site and encourage people on Facebook to contribute to the discussion," the company adds.
With Hotmail as a new login option, simply showing that Facebook is open to adding more options, the plugin may be more attractive to more users. Publishers want to give readers as many options as possible. Something tells me we won't see Google on the list of options anytime soon though. Now, they have Hotmail, Yahoo, and AOL as third-party options.