Facebook released its updated Comments plugin today, which includes a robust set of new features. The social networking site also announced a set of publisher partners that will now integrate the plugin as their commenting platform of choice.
The robust features, which include threaded comments, moderation controls and the ability to sync the comments to a Facebook Page, signal another step toward Facebook’s proliferation across the web with its social plugins. Perhaps the most notable feature is the ability to sync comments across a site and a publisher’s Facebook Page. This has the potential to increase the discussion and commentary on websites that see a bulk of the discussion take place on its Facebook Page.
The plugin can be seen in action on Facebook’s blog, and partner sites include The Economist, SportingNews.com, Redbook and Examiner.
Though the current functionality only allows commenting with a Facebook account, the plugin updates were supposed to include login support for Twitter users as well, but the functionality was not released. The Comments plugin is one of many Facebook plugins that can be integrated into websites off of Facebook — the most popular being the Like button. It will give Facebook further exposure across publisher sites and the web in general. The plugin is available to any publishers who get the code on Facebook’s Social Plugins page.
Here’s what the key changes and features are for both users and publishers integrating the plugin.
Key User Features
The plugin brings a Facebook-like conversation experience to other websites, including its popular “like” button and the commenter’s Facebook profile information, which has the potential to improve and contextualize the commentary.
- Social Commenting & Context: When users are logged into Facebook, they are able to comment on a site with the Comments plugin immediately. Users are able to get more context about a person by looking at the text next to a commenter’s name, which displays any mutual friends, the person’s work title, the person’s age, or the place that a person currently lives — information pulled from the user’s Facebook profile. The information, of course, will be based on a user’s privacy settings.
- Best Comments First: Comments are ranked based on your personal network. The most relevant comments from friends, friends of friends, and the most liked or active discussion threads will be at the top.
- Moderation: As users are reading, they can mark comments as spam, or report them as being abusive to clean up any inappropriate comments.
- Easy Sharing: Users can share comments back to Facebook by clicking “Post to Facebook.” The comment will then be posted to their wall and surfaced for friends on Facebook.
- Threaded Conversation: This might be the neatest feature. Users can sync comments regardless of where they’re made. Whether a user makes a comment on an article or a post on Facebook Page, the comments will be threaded together in the same conversation so users don’t miss out on anything.
Publishers will enjoy the ability to synchronize their Facebook Page comments with those made on their site using the Comments plugin. This feature has the potential to bring a fragmented conversation across websites and Facebook itself into one thread that appears in both places. One of the concerns for publishers will likely be addressing how the plugin would affect site performance and page load time because it uses a script.
- Comment as a Page: Page owners can comment on external sites as their Facebook Page. When a user is logged into Facebook, he or she will see the option to comment as a Page. The comment will be shared on the Page’s wall so users who’ve liked the Page have the opportunity to join the conversation as well.
- Simply Implementation: The plugin can be added to a site with just one line of code.
Distribution: Users can easily share comments back to Facebook with a link that directs back to the original article on a publisher’s site.
- Syncing a Page & Website: Publishers are able to syncronize comments made by readers on their site or Facebook page. Regardless of where a comment is made, it will appear in both places. This has the potential to improve the quality of conversations by synchronizing it.
- Moderation Controls: The moderation includes blacklist controls to the Comments plugin and site admins can control the visibility of a comment by making it private or hiding it completely. Publishers can blacklist users and words.
What do you think of the new features? Do you think more publishers and sites will integrate this plugin? Try it below:
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