As expected, Facebook has just rolled out their new Replies feature for Pages.
Starting today, you can choose to turn on Replies for your page. The new feature changes the way post comments are shown and organized, and it allows users to reply directly to other comments on the post, creating comment threads.
"Today, we're improving the quality of conversations on Pages with Replies. Reply directly to comments left on your Page and start a conversation thread. The most active and engaging conversations will be shown at the top of your posts," says Facebook.
The new Replies feature is pretty self-explanatory. Instead of commenting on the post in general, or tagging a user in your comment in order to show that you're responding directly to them, now you can simply reply to their comment inside the page post. It's a feature that Facebook has had for a while on their Facebook commenting plugin for sites, and it will no doubt make conversations inside heavily-commented page posts much easier to follow.
The new ranking system that sorts conversations should also help to bring the best comment threads to the top. Facebook says that the new system is based on which conversations are the most "active and engaging," which most likely means the conversations that contain the most likes and individual replies. We heard last week that the algorithm also takes into account your connections, so you could see a different comment on the top of a post than your friend does – depending on who you know. We've reached out to Facebook for more explanation on this and will update you when we hear back.
Starting today, you should be able to opt-in to the new comment structure. Simply go to your page, click "edit page," and go to "manage permissions." If you scroll all the way to the bottom, you should see you should see a Replies filter box you can check off to "Allow replies to comments on my Page." It should be under "Post privacy gating."
Or, Facebook may prompt you to turn on Replies when you visit your page.
For now, the new replies are opt-in only, and once you opt-in, there's no opting-out. But starting July 10th, Facebook says they'll be rolling it out to all pages. If your page has more than 10,000 likes, the new Replies will be turned on automatically.