Facebook has launched a new version of its comments plugin, adding 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.
"The comments plugin is based on developer feedback and reflects the spirit of Facebook, in that when a person's real identity is tied to their actions, they’re incented to communicate online in a way that’s similar to how they do in the real world," a representative for Facebook tells WebProNews. "We think this can lead to greater accountability and a safer and more trusted environment."
This is in line with a recent New York Times op-ed piece written by Facebook product design manager Julie Zhuo, who called for content providers to stop allowing for anonymous comments on their content, in an effort to maintain accountability for what is said.
An interesting feature of this comments system is that when users leave comments, they can also share it back to Facebook itself (where the average user has 130 friends, the company points out). This links back to the original content, and additional comments will be threaded together between your site and Facebook.
"We've found that people share, read, and generally engage more with any type of content when their friends are involved," says Facebook. "By making commenting more authentic and social and lessening spam and irrelevancy, you can improve the overall experience for all of your users."
Facebook has also added moderation and blacklist controls. Admins can control the visibility of comments and blacklist certain users or words.
Facebook lists the following benefits for users:
- Authentic commenting and social context: When you’re logged into Facebook, you can comment on a site with the Comments plugin immediately, without needing to create a new account or upload a new photo. You can obtain more context about a person by looking at the text next to a their name, which will show if you have a mutual friend, the person’s work title, the person’s age, or the place that a person currently lives. This information will always respect the person’s privacy settings and will only show what you can already see on Facebook.
- See the best comments first: Comments will be ranked for you, based on the most relevant comments from friends, friends of friends, and the most liked or active discussion threads. The best comments will rise to the top, while spammy comments will be hidden from view.
- Moderation and spam control: As you’re reading, you can mark comments as spam, or report them as being abusive.
- Take the conversation further: You can share your comments with friends back on Facebook. Just make sure the “Post to Facebook” box is checked, and the comment will be posted to your Wall and surfaced to your friends on Facebook.
- Threaded comments: Sync comments regardless of where they’re made. Whether you make a comment on an article or a post on Facebook, they will be threaded together in the same conversation so you don’t miss out on anything.
- Comment as a Page: Page owners can comment on external sites as their Facebook Page. When you’re logged into Facebook, you’ll see the option to comment as your Page. The comment will be shared on your Page’s Wall so people who’ve liked the Page have the opportunity to join the conversation as well.
Examiner.com, which recently got pounded in Google rankings, courtesy of the latest major algorithm update, is hoping to gain some more traffic from Facebook. The company put out is own announcement about utilizing the version of Facebook's comments plugin.
“This is another exciting evolution of the Examiner.com community and the conversations taking place on our site,” said Suzie Austin SVP of Content, Community and Marketing for Examiner. “This plugin will allow our Examiners and their engaged readers to connect to each other on the topics and information that is relevant to them and their cities like never before. To be a launch partner for this new enhancement with Facebook underscores the value of Examiner.com and the meaningful content and conversations that are taking place among our 25 million monthly readers and our 70,000 contributors.”
“Facebook is the social media leader in connecting people and sparking high quality interaction, and Examiner.com is the leader in connecting people to the topics and information they are passionate about,” said Examiner CEO Rick Blair. “Not only are we excited to see our engagement increase by this natural pairing, but very pleased that Facebook saw the great fit in our model to select us as one of the sites to showcase this exciting new feature.”
The plugin can be added to any site with one line of code. More info on Facebook's Developer Blog.