Facebook Comments, Now On Over 50K Sites, Get More Social With Latest Upgrade

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Facebook Comments, which people either love or hate, have just been amped up by Facebook, to increase the ever elusive “user engagement,” which just means get more traffic. We’ve been using Facebook Comments for about a month, and I am personally thrilled at the improved quality of discussion, despite being bothered by annoyances like not being able to edit into comments.

According to Facebook, Facebook Comments are now on over 50,000 websites including us, NBC and Hotels.com. Sure Hotels.com is a start, Facebook’s got a long way to go if it wants to dominate the commenting space. While it made some needed adjustments today, there’s still more work that needs to be done.

Here are the new features added in today’s upgrade:

Permalinking

Users can now access each comment by its permalink, allowing users to share and a respond to specific comments more easily. Comment notifications in the Facebook newsfeed also direct back to specific comments, which is awesome because the alternative is pretty disorienting.

Comments API

Facebook is also providing an API so site owners can search and rank their comments, like highlight interesting and popular comments, reward top commenters or segment comments around a specific topic, like Apple or startups.

More social context in the newsfeed

Developers now also have the option of adding meta-tags to include more information about a story in commenters Facebook newsfeeds, including any images involved, title and description. Facebook holds that this optimization will increase click through because users will feel more drawn to specific stories.

Darker color scheme

Facebook is also offering a darker color scheme for darker websites, so developers with darker sites don’t have to have mismatched commenting systems. I’m actually pretty surprised no one thought of this sooner.

For trolls people clamoring for alternate ways to log in, Hotmail accounts have been added as a third-party login option along with Aol and Yahoo, but more interestingly there’s no mention of adding Gmail and Twitter which were slated to also be options pre-launch and then somehow mysteriously disappeared.

Great. So those without a Facebook account are good to login if they’re planning on doing so from 1998. See what I mean about “more work that still needs to be done”?