Facebook Updates Comments Social Plugin with Voting System

Facebook is updating its Comments social plugin. The new version allows users to vote comments up or down, view threaded replies, and see the primary network or employer of other commenters. Facebook says it is testing the new plugin on the Facebook Blog and Facebook Developer Blog, and that the update focuses on “features around authenticity, social relevance, ranking, and distribution.”

By improving the plugin’s feature set and interface, Facebook can attract more websites to integrate it and pull market share away from other third-party commenting plugins such as Disqus and IntenseDebate.

Social plugins were launched at f8 to give websites a way to easily integrate different Facebook functionalities. These plugins include the Like Button, Activity Feed, and Recommendations, as well as the newer Live Stream and Facepile. Over 2 million sites have now integrated Facebook’s social plugins, providing them growth in traffic, engagement, and time-on-site.

The updated Comments plugin allows user to see a green up-vote arrow and a red down-vote arrow next to comments. Once clicked and after the page is reloaded, the votes are added or subtracted from the vote count next to a commenter’s name. Users will see the percentage of total votes a comment has received that were up-votes if they hover over the commenter’s name. Therefore if a comment says it has 5 votes and and 100% quality score, and you down-vote it, it will show that it has 4 votes and and 80% quality score. Comments are not sorted by vote counts or quality score.

Comments now include a reply button which opens a threaded reply when clicked. This allows commenters to carry out sub-conversations within the comment reel. Users can check a box to post new comments they make to their profile, but comment replies won’t be posted. To give users some context about their fellow commenters, names are accompanied by that user’s network or employer and position.

Developers can visit the documentation page for the Comments social plugin to customize settings and receive their embed code for placing the plugin on their site. The plugin can be seen live on the Facebook Blog.

Facebook’s Comments plugin has the most third-party competition of any of its plugins. Since comment reels on websites are usually filled with interactions between people who aren’t friends, integrating the social graph isn’t essential and developers without access can still make highly functional comments plugins. Therefore, it’s important that Comments integrate voting, as well as other features standard to other comment plugins such as flagging for objectionable comments, comment sorting by different parameters, and even syndication of comments to other social platforms including Twitter.


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6 Responses to “Facebook Updates Comments Social Plugin with Voting System”

  1. Gerhard says:

    Adding the employer and position must be the most stupid decision ever. This makes it appear as if I were commenting in some official capacity, which could lead to severe concequences in my company.
    Great, yet another ‘feature’ of facebook which is rendered unusable by their sheer lack of clue!

  2. Hans Peter Nielsen says:

    I’m sorry but the comments plugin on the Facebook Blog is *not* the Comments Social Plugin available for the rest of us.

    On Facebook.com they use another plugin which resides on http://www.facebook.com/plugins/feedback.php while the comment plugin accessible in the documentation resides on http://www.facebook.com/plugins/comments.php

    It seems that this new feedback plugin is only for use on Facebook’s own pages. For now at least.

  3. Josh Constine says:

    @Hans: The new Comments plugin is still being tested and is currently only available for use on he Facebook Blog and the Facebook Developer Blog.

  4. Grant Perry says:

    Any idea when FB will implement threaded replies in FB itself?

    When you get hundreds of replies to a post on a company page it’s impossible to answer each one easily at the moment.

  5. Stephen Tsirtsonis says:

    Hi,

    I am using the social comments tool. I desperately need the ability to do the rely function shown on this page. I know its in test now but when will it be released.

    As it stands someone makes a comment and the discussion does off line when you reply via a message.

    Cheers,

    Steve

  6. Wally says:

    Has anyone heard any update on the release of the threaded comments plugin ?

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