Facebook optimizes comments plugin for mobile

Facebook has updated its Comments Box plugin to improve functionality for mobile sites, the company announced today on its Facebook + Media page.

People who have already added the Comments Box to their website will find that it is now automatically optimized for mobile. The plugin recognizes when a user is on a mobile device and ignores the width parameter so that comments are displayed at 100 percent. Developers can turn this behavior off by setting the mobile parameter to false and control the width manually. Documentation details are available from Facebook’s developer site.

Previously, websites that integrate Facebook Comments had to resize the box for mobile browsers, but there was not a dedicated mobile version of the plugin. This makes implementation easier for developers, and for users the feature seems to load more quickly.

The social network is strongly promoting its comments plugin as a way for media sites and blogs to improve engagement and reduce spam. We use Facebook Comments on InsideFacebook.com and have written about how the feature can sort comments by relevance and affect a site’s Google search rankings.

Image credit: Facebook + Media

How Facebook Comments impact Google search rankings

This post provides a brief introduction to Google’s update; content publishers and webmasters should read on for the full, free, overview at The Facebook Marketing Bible.

Google’s November 2011 changes to its web crawler have created new opportunities and liabilities for all websites implementing Facebook Comments, with important implications for SEO. Webmasters who properly implement and manage Facebook Comments stand to gain, but the recent changes could significantly hurt the rankings of sites who do not properly prevent and manage spam.

Google announced last November that it had begun indexing Javascript and AJAX content, without requiring webmasters to implement workarounds. While Google has not yet claimed to be indexing 100 percent of Javascript and AJAX content, it became clear soon after the change that Facebook Comments, which is displayed using AJAX and HTML5, are now indexed by Google.

Facebook Comments Example

Previously, in order to get Google’s crawler to index Facebook Comments, webmasters had to use a workaround like displaying an duplicate plain-text version of Comments that was visible to Google’s site crawler, but invisible to visitors, who would still see the regular Facebook Comments.

This workaround required webmasters to use the Facebook Graph API to pull Comments (access to Comments through the Graph API was announced on the Facebook Developer Blog in April). The technical nature of this workaround meant that few websites implemented it, and therefore, for most sites, Facebook Comments had no impact on Google Search rankings.

Given the November change, Facebook Comments are now indexed by Google without any workaround. Since Google’s search rankings are affected by the quality and relevance of the text on a given page, as well as the quantity and quality of outbound links, this change means that any site visitor can affect search rankings by commenting. Quality, relevant comments and links may help boost a page’s ranking, but spam in Facebook Comments may also hurt rankings.

To learn more about the specific advantages of Facebook Comments for site owners, read on for our free, detailed overview in the Facebook Marketing Bible, where we cover:

  • Facebook Comments versus Disqus, ECHO, and IntenseDebate
  • Who should use Facebook Comments? A few examples of live sites that are doing it well
  • Getting a search ranking lift through Facebook Comments
  • Facebook Comments and the spam risk

>> Click to Continue Reading

Facebook shows some commenters how they’re connected

Facebook is testing a way to show users how they are connected to people who comment on their friends’ posts. In a few instances, we’ve seen comments displaying descriptions like “2 mutual friends” next to a person’s name.

This is an obvious way for the social network to encourage people to add more friends and could mean the company is looking to make comments on the site more like comments on third-party websites.

The test could also be a response to the “subscribe” feature. Now that users are able to share posts with subscribers and allow anyone from the public to comment on them, showing commenters how they are related to one another could help put the discussion in perspective.

Facebook’s comments plugin for third-party websites and applications began showing additional information — job title or school for instance — about commenters in March 2011. The plugin also orders comments by social relevance, pushing comments from your friends to the top. Facebook did something similar with the “Top Posts” filter on pages last year, but has not applied it to comments on the site, which continue to be displayed in chronological order.

This latest test could suggest Facebook is looking for a way to make these products more similar. Adding social context to comments on posts from pages and users who accept subscribers would maintain the feeling that Facebook is a place to connect with people you know. Otherwise, with more content being made open to the public, some users might be hesitant to join comment threads that include people they don’t know.

Facebook 2011: A Year in Review

Facebook’s “Move fast and break things” mantra was put into action again this year as the company overhauled a number of its products, introduced many new features and eliminated old functionality. Here is a month-by-month review of changes that most affected users, marketers and developers on the platform in 2011.


Redesigned Profiles
Facebook started the year with a new look for profile pages. With Timeline on everyone’s minds now, it can be easy to forget that 12 months ago the social network had redesigned profiles to include more photos and information at a glance, eliminating the horizontal tab structure that had been in place since 2008.

All-in-One Messaging
Users began to get access to the new Messages product, which groups all direct messages between users whether they are viewing a conversation from the inbox, chat window or mobile.

Sponsored Stories
In an effort to make advertising more relevant by including social context, Facebook introduced Sponsored Stories that allow advertisers to pay to promote activity on the site, such as likes or check-ins. The company added more Sponsored Story types in April and June.

Memorable Status Updates
Perhaps hinting at the nostalgia-inducing Timeline to come later in the year, Facebook began displaying users’ status updates and stories from the past.

Secure Browsing
Facebook started giving users the option of accessing Facebook over an encrypted connection and encouraged developers to obtain a Secure Sockets Layer certificate to make their iframe apps accessible to users with secure browsing enabled. Since then, the company has prompted users to switch to HTTPS and made SSL certificates mandatory for all developers.


Page Redesign
Page owners got a number of new features to help them manage their communities. These included activity notifications, “Use Facebook as a Page,” and a spam filter for comments. Fan pages were also designed to look more like the new user profiles and place pages, which displayed applications vertically on the left hand side rather than in tabs across the top. Advertisers also gained the option of driving ads to any landing tab, not just the default.

Improved Like Button 
Clicking the Like Button began sharing full-sized stories in the News Feed rather than the one-line Recent Activity stories it previously generated. This along with the Send button that came in April have replaced the Share button, which Facebook no longer supports.

Real-Time Commenting
Facebook made commenting more like chat by removing the “Post” button and instead publishing comments after a user hits “enter” on the keyboard. Since this leads to more accidental comments, Facebook later began giving users a 12-second window to edit their comment.


After a Q&A product similar to Quora never made it out of beta in 2010, Facebook relaunched Questions as a poll feature aimed at helping users get recommendations from their friends. Pages began using the feature to engage their fans with questions that had a more viral effect than plain-text posts.

Deals Subscription Service
Facebook seemed to be taking on Groupon when it began a new pre-paid deals service for users in select cities, but it discontinued the test in August.


Updated Groups
Ahead of the rumored Google+ launch, Facebook made improvements to its Groups product aimed at helping people share with subsets of their friends. Most notably, group admins gained the ability to approve people before they are added to the group. Users could now also upload photo albums or ask Questions within groups.

Send Button
The Send button was introduced as a way for people to share articles and third-party websites with groups of friends, whereas the Like button posts to all a users’ friends.


New Ad Analytics
Facebook made several changes to its advertising analytics dashboard to focus on performance indicators such as Page Likes, app installs and social reach, rather than older online advertising metrics such as CPM.

Recommend This Place
The social network implemented a recommendation box on place pages (and fan pages that included an address) so that users can share their opinions about a location or a business.

Tag Pages in Photos
Users and pages gained the ability to tag other pages in photos they share on the site. This increases the reach of any given photo and builds additional connections between users and pages.


Happening Now: Prelude to Ticker
Facebook began testing a “Happening Now” module on the right hand side of the page. This later became the Ticker, which shows more recent activity from your friends, including comments, page likes and now Open Graph activity like listening to a song in Spotify.


Mandatory Credits
All developers on the Facebook platform became required to use Credits as the sole payment option for their social games. The company had announced a July 1 deadline at the beginning of the year and then added additional payment options and feedback channels for developers over the next few months to support the transition.

Video Calling and Group Chat
Teaming up with Skype, Facebook integrated video calling into its chat product. The social network also expanded group chat to friends who were not already in designated groups. Users can now add any friend to a chat conversation.


Revised Privacy Controls
The company simplified its privacy settings page and moved controls to the profile editor and news feed publisher. Users also gained the ability to approve tags in photos, check-ins and statuses.

Canvas App Page Changes

Facebook made several changes to the Canvas Page, bookmarking and games stories in the news feed in order to improve game discovery, retention and user experience. The redesign added a real-time activity ticker dedicated to stories about a user’s friends engaging with games.

Expanded Ads API
Facebook brought its ad API out of private beta and began allowing more developers to build tools and services that programmatically create, buy and manage Facebook ad campaigns.

Standalone Messenger App
Moving away from its all-in-one mobile application strategy, Facebook released Messenger as a separate app to rival texting and group chat alternatives.

New Locations App for Pages
Some corporations gained access to a beta product that allows them to designate multiple locations under a parent page and include a store finder on the page.


At F8, Facebook unveiled a new version of user profiles that organizes stories in a timeline format, giving users the option to add life events to any point in their personal history.

Open Graph Application Platform
Along with Timeline, the company announced a new way to connect people and objects beyond the Like button. Developers will be able to make apps that let users share what they are reading, watching, listening to, cooking and more. Along with this comes “frictionless sharing” and additional avenues for app discovery.

Reconfigured News Feed
To accommodate this new type of Open Graph app, Facebook redesigned the home page to include News Feed and Ticker.

Facebook introduced a new one-way follow dynamic with its Subscribe button. Users can subscribe to the public updates of anyone who allows subscribers. This gives the social network a way to compete with Twitter and Google+.

Smart Lists
The social network introduced Smart Lists to automatically group users’ friends by location, workplace and school. As users become comfortable with Facebook grouping friends automatically, we could see Facebook’s algorithms creating more nuanced lists that compete with Google’s Circles feature.


Mobile Platform
After much speculation, the company unveiled a way to help mobile developers market their native and HTML5-based apps through its platform. Developers can now take advantage of bookmarks, requests and the news feed in the same way that Facebook canvas developers do.

Talking About This
Facebook added a new public metric to pages called “Talking About This.” This metric encourages pages to think about engagement, not just accumulating Likes.

iPad Application
Facebook released its official iPad app after months of leaks and rumors about its development.


Sponsored Stories in Ticker
The social network began showing Sponsored Story ads in the Ticker, signaling more lines being blurred between paid and organic content in the future. The company later told us Sponsored Story ads will be shown within the News Feed starting in 2012.


Timeline Goes Live
Facebook began its global release of the Timeline profile developers had gotten a preview of at F8. Timeline is still opt-in for users until sometime in early 2012. The company also debuted Timeline on mobile devices for the first time.

Coupon Test
We discovered Facebook testing a new coupon post feature for pages that could have big implications for next year. Pages that are part of this beta can offer discounts and promote them with Sponsored Stories.

Private Message Test
We have also seen the social network testing a way for users to privately message page owners. This, too, could have a big impact for people using Facebook for business in 2012.

Facebook Adds “Related Posts” with Questions and Comments to Sponsored Stories

Facebook experimented with a new “Related Post” Sponsored Story format that leverages comments and questions over the Thanksgiving holiday to encourage more interaction between consumers and respective brands.

This is an improvement on Facebook’s “Comment” Sponsored Story ad unit, which draws posts from a brand’s Facebook Page to create a display ad with a text question beneath the Sponsored Ad content. Now, the ads don’t have to connect to a previous post, and comment activity on the ad is solely kept within the ad, not connected to the News Feed.

Brands using the new feature receive direct feedback on their ads and products. As brands go through the holiday season, they can adjust their strategies accordingly. Walmart was one of the first brands to apply comments to its sponsored advertising, asking Fans to Like and Comment on its Christmas Price Guarantee, an offer for in-store only purchases. At the time the following screenshot was taken, the ad had accumulated 852 Comments and 19,806 Likes. Note the ad does not appear on Walmart’s Facebook Page, so the number of Likes and comments support the viability of the feature.

For users, the addition of Questions and Comments makes brands more approachable and provides an immediate review mechanism. Comments and answers to Questions become a product review tool, which can influence a user’s brand opinion or purchasing decision. If a user views the Comments of Walmart’s ad only to see users complaining about the deal, that user is more likely to stay away from the offer.

[Thanks to Eti Suruzon for the tip and screenshot]

How the Facebook Comments Plugin Can Boost Traffic, Improve Discussion Quality on Your Site

Facebook Marketing Bible  

Facebook’s Comments Plugin allows website administrators to add user commenting to any piece of content on their website. When this plugin is installed on your website or blog, visitors will be able to comment as their Facebook profile, any Facebook Page in which they have administration privileges or via a number of other identity logins.

Commenters can also choose to have their comments posted to their Facebook wall (profile or Page), and these will appear in the News Feed of their friends and fans, raising awareness and driving traffic back to the original website.

The plugin uses social relevance to determine the highest quality comments for each user, which are then ordered to show users the most relevant comments from friends, friends of friends, and the most liked or active discussion threads. Comments that have been marked as spam by Facebook (or the moderator) are hidden from view.

The plugin offers numerous advantages for websites looking to add comments functionality to their platform, including:

  • Familiarity/ease of use - Facebook’s commenting system is well-established and very familiar to its 800+ million users, which means new visitors to your site won’t struggle with (nor have to register to use) a comment system they don’t recognize. As such, they’re more likely to comment
  • Cross-platform login support - users can login to the plugin with their Facebook, Yahoo!, AOL or Hotmail credentials
  • Synced comments - users can choose to have their comments posted to their Facebook wall (or Page, depending on how they posted), and any Likes and comments made inside of Facebook will automatically sync with the comment on the originating website (and vice versa)
  • Accountability - Facebook’s Comment Plugin does not allow anonymous comments. Because users are contributing under their real name (or Page), this significantly reduces the number of posts websites typically receive from spammers and trolls, and increases the likelihood that discussions will be courteous and civil
  • Moderation - aside from Facebook’s internal spam filter system, further control is provided by a Facebook-hosted moderation dashboard

At the same time, sites should consider the features offered by other comments plugins, like Disqus and Intense Debate, that provide competing sets of services and don’t rely as heavily on Facebook. In some cases, you may decide that you don’t want comments centered around Facebook, like if you’re trying to preserve a sense of anonymity among your readers. We’ll discuss this more below.

Another note here is that some sites currently using the Comments Plugin have been experiencing bugs since it launched earlier this year. While we expect Facebook to continue to improve the product, you may expect issues in the near term.

This is an excerpt from our full article that details how to implement the Facebook Comments plugin on your website. Comprehensive coverage of all the social plugins is available at the Facebook Marketing Bible, Inside Network’s guide to marketing and advertising on Facebook. 

Facebook Adds Subscribe Button to Comments Box Plugin to Increase Civility, Subscribers

Facebook is giving users another way to add Subscribers to their public updates by introducing a Subscribe button beside commenter names in its Comments Box social plugin. The move ties two products that already work separately to promote public discussion, and improves Subscription discovery which is otherwise limited to its personalized People to Subscribe To list and sidebar modules

The Comments Box Subscribe buttons will encourage civil discussion on sites that use the commenting plugin because those who appear intelligent may be able to attract new Subscribers.

Facebook launched the Comments Box plugin for third-party sites in March and by June it was installed on 300,000 sites. It previously added the option for users to “Subscribe” to a specific comment thread, but that feature is now called “Follow Post” and its name has been reassigned to Facebook’s Twitter-like asymmetrical follow feature that was released last month.

As I see it, this new feature helps Facebook meet two existing goals: get more users Subscribing to each other, and make discussion in the Comments Box more civil to get more sites installing it.

Facebook offers a form of Suggested User List, but this is somewhat buried and mainly helps popular public figures grow what may already be a large subscriber base. By giving the average engaged commenter more opportunities to gain Subscribers through the plugin, the asymmetrical follow feature can develop a healthier community and not appear as something reserved for celebrities and journalists.

Comment moderators were temporarily given the ability to “Boost” comments they deemed as high quality to the top of a thread. This let moderators set up discussion role models and reward top commenters, but could also be used to drown out criticism, which may be why Facebook recently removed it. By incentivizing thought leaders to weigh in with the prospect of gaining Subscribers, Facebook can improve discussions without facilitating censorship.

Now, anyone that allows people to Subscribe to them will have a Subscribe button next to their name on their Comments Box comments and replies. In some cases Subscriber count is displayed as well. If the button is clicked, a user Subscribes to that commenter’s public news feed updates, and they can hover to select the volume and types of updates they receive.

Facebook may need to monitor for Subscribe solicitation spam. Some users may only comment to get exposure for their Subscribe button, or interrupt discussions with “SUBSCRIBE TO ME!” requests. If it can filter out or bury these types of comments, it may have found a way improve both Subscribe and Comments Box through cross-pollination.

Facebook Roundup: Project Spartan, Lamebook, Privacy Comments, Patents, Bug Bounty, Privacy, Ads and More

More Info on Facebook’s Spartan – TechCrunch reported more information about BoltJS, a UI framework designed by Facebook and written in JavaScript that runs in the browser. Apparently it’s part of Facebook’s Project Spartan, which may not be fully revealed until f8.

Facebook Settles With Lamebook – Lamebook, a humor site publishing funny Facebook posts, and Facebook settled this week. The judge refused to move the suit to California, and thus, some speculate that Facebook settled to avoid jury sympathy for the Austin-based company.

Facebook Extends Comment Period – Facebook extended the comment period for its new privacy policy to 5 p.m. Pacific on September 7. Comments may be left at Facebook’s Site Governance Page.

Facebook Testing Comment Ordering? – AllFacebook reported that Facebook seems to be testing a way for Page admins to order comments based on social ranking, chronology or reverse chronology. [Image via AllFacebook]

Facebook Pays $40,000 in Bounty Program – Facebook’s Bug Bounty program has, thus far, paid out $40,000 to people around the world who have reported issues to the company. Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan wrote a blog about the program this week with more information.

Interesting Insights on Facebook Ads – SocialCode reported some interesting trends about Facebook ads, including: women are 11% more likely to click, older women are more likely to click through and men are slightly more likely to Like an ad.

HTML5 Mobile App Allows for Connect – Nitobi, creators of PhoneGap, launched a new plugin, PhoneGap Facebook Connect. Essentially it allows users to login to HTML and JavaScript apps with their Facebook login.

Social Networks and Patents – Business Week published an interesting story examining the lack of a “patent war” when it comes to social media companies like Facebook and Twitter. One reason the magazine speculated, is that Facebook (for example) only holds 12 patents, which is to say, there aren’t as many patents to fight over.

Facebook Developer Blog: Fluid Canvas – Facebook’s Developer blog posted this week about how to build an app on Facebook with Fluid Canvas, to expand the size of apps, depending on a user’s screen resolution.

Other Announcements:

Appbistro Announces PPI Ads for Page Apps – Appbistro announced that the company now installs apps for Page admins, thus the company has seen a 190% increase in installs, recently hitting 100,000 registered Page admins.

Vitrue Releases SaaS 3.0 – Vitrue released version 3.0 of its social media platform, which includes new localization features, analytics and metrics.

Hootsuite Deepens Facebook Integration – AllFacebook reports that HootSuite has deepened its Facebook integration, specifically adding events, photos, groups, and geo-tool updates.

15% of Posts are Likejacked – Norton’s analysis of 3.5 million video posts in August found that 15% were scams, or like jacking. Norton Safe Web for Facebook is an app that may guard against this type of attack.

Facebook Comments Can Now Display Photos, Play Videos, and Preview Websites

Facebook yesterday announced that when users post a URL in a comment, a preview of content from that page will be shown in-line. Similar to when users post URLs into the Facebook publisher for sharing to the news feed, comment reels can now show photos, play videos, and display blurbs and images from websites. Unlike wall and news feed posts, the content preview won’t appear until after the URL is published, but comment authors are then given the option to remove the preview.

The ability to show content previews of URLs in comments should make comment reels more engaging, keep users from having to click links blindly, and allow them to compellingly reference off-site content in conversations. It should increase referral traffic driven to third-party site by Facebook.

Facebook has been adding new functionality to comments over the past few months. In March users gained the ability to tag comments with friends as well as Pages, Groups, Events, and apps they’re connected to. In April, it began allowing users to edit comments they’ve posted if they click the ‘x’ on a comment within a few seconds of posting it.

Previously, if users wanted to share a URL in a comment, the link would appear as simple text. Without some kind of image to attract eye balls, these links weren’t clicked as often as the quality of their content warranted. It also meant other users couldn’t tell where the link led by for clicking it, decreasing trust and increasing worry about being scammed such that users might not click through.

A Wide Variety of Rich Content

Now if a user posts a URL into a comment field and publishes, a preview of the URL’s content will appear in-line. The author can then click “Remove preview” if they wish to strip the rich content from the comment. Unfortunately, because the preview doesn’t appear while users are still composing their comment, they can’t choose the delete the URL but keep the preview as they can with wall and news feed posts. This means that a redundant instance of the URL will appear in the comment’s text, making the accompanying commentary by the author more difficult to read.

Photos can be posted in comments by publishing a link leading directly to an image file. If users post the URL of a Facebook photo, the preview will include a link to the photo’s owner and the album it is in. Videos from a variety of sites, including YouTube, Vimeo, Metacafe, and Hulu can be played in-line within comments. Users can share music by posting links directly to MP3s or to streaming sites such as Soundcloud, Grooveshark, and BandCamp.

URLs of websites without rich content will generate a preview that includes a blurb and a thumbnail image if available. Websites can control which images and text are included by marking up their pages with Facebook’s Open Graph tags. Unlike wall and news feed posts, users can’t edit the text of a preview’s headline or blurb caption.

Comment previews should help users find more interesting off-site content to consumer and allow them to click links more confidently. The ability to compellingly reference a news story or video relevant to a discussion should increase engagement and lead to longer comment reel conversations.

Pages will be able to use the feature to respond to comments on their walls with rich content. They’ll also be able to post rich content to the comment reels of other Pages to attract visitors. For instance, if one Page posts a simple text status update, another Page might be able to steal its thunder by posting a video as comment on the post.

Designed to Prevent Spam

[Update: Originally, this article noted that the comment previews could be used for spam because spammers could post links with eye-grabbing previews as comments to Pages, which other users would have to see and might be lured into click. However, the designer of the feature, Facebook's Tom Whitnah, has informed us that comment previews were designed to prevent this kind of spam:

"When you're viewing a comment with a preview, it will be collapsed by default unless you are either friends with the commenter or the commenter is the author of the post. This means that when you're viewing public page posts, you'll have to click Expand Preview to actually see the preview for virtually all comments. So this means for compelling comments, people can still view the previews onsite, while spammy comment previews on pages are likely to never be seen/expanded. Therefore comments with previews should rarely be more compelling vectors for spam and won't be able to attract more attention to their comment with a salacious image."]

Overall, though, comment previews should enrich the user experience and increase the amount of referral traffic Facebook sends to third-party websites. Posts in comment reels send notifications to the original post’s author and other commenters. The rich content these notifications link to may inspire additional comments that in turn generate more notifications, causing comment previews to increase the frequency of return visits to the site.

The more referral traffic Facebook drives, the more that businesses and websites recognize Facebook’s influence. This leads them to devote more resources to optimizing their site through Open Graph tags, developing a presence through Facebook Pages, and buying Facebook ads.

Platform Update: JavaScript SDK with OAuth, Place Like Box, Removed Bookmarks Insights

In the latest Platform Update to the Developers Blog, Facebook announced that the new OAuth-ready version of the JavaScript SDK will become available on July 20th.

The blog post also explained how websites can show the wall of a Places page in a Place Like Box, shared details about upgrades to the Comments Box social plugin, and noted that Applications Insights will no longer show data about users adding bookmarks.

In May following some security issues, Facebook announced that by September 1st all apps must use OAuth 2.0 to improve security of user data, specifically User IDs and access tokens. Facebook planned to release updated OAuth 2.0-ready versions of the JavaScript and PHP SDKs on July 1st. However, the PHP SDK was released ahead of schedule, and now the JavaScript SDK has been delayed due to development snags.

Facebook has set the Developer Roadmap release date for the new version of the JavaScript SDK to July 20th, 2011. Once it’s released, developers should have about five weeks to implement OAuth 2.0 and support access token encyrption. The completion of this migration should prevent User IDs and access tokens from being revealed to unauthorized third-parties.

Websites using the Like Box social plugin to offer an easy way for visitors to Like their Facebook Places page can now select to show the Place’s wall rather than a stream of checkins.

By setting the force_wall attribute to true, a Place Like Box will show the Place’s wall. Otherwise, a Place Like Box defaults to show checkins by a viewer’s friends. This will allow websites to show compelling content in the Like Box to users whose friends haven’t checked into the Place before.

Last September, Facebook changed its applications bookmark system such that a user’s bookmarks automatically rise above and fall below the bookmark fold depending on how often an app is used.

Users no longer manually create bookmarks, however, data about how many users created a bookmark to an app still appeared in the Users tab of Application Insights. Facebook has now removed this data from Application Insights to tidy up the interface and reports.

This past week, Facebook officially announced the release of two new features for the Comments Box plugin: Boost Comment, and sort preference. The Platform Update provides some additional details about these features.

The “Social Ranking” sorting preference displays comments “from friends, friends of friends, and the most liked or active discussion threads.” Users that aren’t logged in will first see comments boosted by a site’s admin. If they are logged in, they’ll see comments by friends first, followed by boosted comments.

In January, Facebook released a new access control module for applications, allowing developers to add people as administrators, developers, testers, or Insights users of their apps.

The blog post includes a reminder that developers can add people that aren’t their Facebook friends by typing an email address into the inviter. This streamlines the role assignment process and relieves developers from having to add coworkers as friends.

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