Facebook Tests Text Comment Stories in the Recent Activity Feed

Facebook is testing a new type of one-line story on the recent activity feed of the wall which shows the full text of a comment. This story type would make the recent activity feed more interesting but slower to read, and could entice users to click through to view the original post.

In the example above, the standard comment story on Sanders’ recent activity feed shows his first name, and that he commented on Trevor Bryant’s link. However, in the tested full text comment story, the author of the comment’s first name is not shown, and instead the text of the comment is shown in its entirety. Only the green comment icon denotes what kind of action the story represents.

The recent activity feed was changed to be more interactive in early November after months of relative stability. Facebook added the option to instantly Like an Open Graph object from the activity feed story generated when a friend Liked that object. Previously, users had to click off-site to the object to Like it. To balance this, users were also given the option Unlike a Page or Open Graph object when removing the story about a Like from their own feed.

The full text comment story brings a user’s unique content into the recent activity feed. Otherwise, this feed is only populated by stories indicating connections and actions, such as a user Liking a Page, editing an open field of their profile, or writing on a friend’s wall. The stories wouldn’t show what they added to the Quotations section of their profile, or what they wrote on that friend’s wall, though.

Showing the full text might make readers curious enough to click through and see what the original post was about. However, we’re no longer seeing this test, meaning Facebook may have decided that unique content is better left on the wall.

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13 Responses to “Facebook Tests Text Comment Stories in the Recent Activity Feed”

  1. SuStokes says:

    What are the chances that this test has effected Page wall comments? I logged into my page to find that about 5-6 posts no longer have a comment block beneath them. I have tested this through 3G and LAN and on other profiles and they all show a period of time where any post on my Fan page wall no longer allows comments.

  2. Mark Gorney says:

    This is bullshit and an invasion of privacy. I don’t want what I write being displayed!

  3. Kate says:

    Is Facebook purposely trying to f*ck with people? I mean really… constant privacy concerns and this kind of feature is supposed to “encourage interaction?” How about encourage complete paranoia that all of your semi-private conversations are totally available to view…. ridiculous.

  4. Totcetera says:

    Fuming that I have no option to disable this. If this is implemented and I am not given a choice of what information I share, I am off Facebook and getting in touch with my local media. Absolute violation.

  5. Jenny Leung says:

    @Mark- I’m confused why you think this a new invasion of privacy. If my friend could see a story of me commenting before, they could have clicked through to see the actual comment (Facebook never shows comment stories unless you can actually click through and see the comment). And if it was an interesting comment/story the text of the comment would have shown up in their newsfeed already anyways.

  6. Ben says:

    This might be a good idea for some but it would be wise for Facebook to roll out updated privacy controls so users can choose how much is revealed on their wall.

  7. Leonel says:

    Umm.. it is no longer a test and is now in production. Not cool.

  8. j says:

    I guess what it will take is some jealous husband or boyfriend or girlfriend or wife totally misunderstanding what he/she reads in the partial comment, and not being able to see the context, freaks out and kills their partner.

    This is such a stupid new feature. I am getting tired of prefacing everything I write with a string of dots.

  9. j says:

    Also @Jenny. This is not true. I can see all kinds of things on friends’ pages that I cannot click through to.

  10. Facebook’s Latest Privacy Violation – It is Now Broadcasting Your Conversations by Publishing The Content Of Your Recent Activity | Librarian by Day says:

    [...] Facebook Tests Full Text Comment Stories in the Recent Activity Feed [...]

  11. Jenny Leung says:

    @j: Just tested it out to make sure I wasn’t crazy or something. Went to a bunch of friends’ walls and on every comment clicked through to what they commented on in a new tab. Could see all of them.

    Also I found this: http://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=19259

  12. Jimmy says:

    This is absolute bullshit and an invasion of privacy. @jenny- its an invasion of privacy because comments (part comments)that are supposed to be private between certain friends and non-mutual friends are now visible for all friends to see. There is absolutely no subtlety in facebook at all anymore. I cannot even control what information of mine gets posted to my friends news feed since they disabled that option, everything is now a bloody open book.

  13. JJ says:

    This “feature” IS BS, I actually just noticed it myself last night that you have no way of controlling who sees what you post all over Facebook. I don’t need or want everyone I know seeing everything I say to everyone.

    What’s next posting a note that you sent an email to someone on your wall? Facebook needs to get a friggin grip, I like being able to keep in touch with people in different area but I don’t like how my privacy is evaporating in this app. If they don’t change this…I too am done with it and will go back to old fashioned email and other ways of keeping in touch.

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