Over 400,000 sites currently use Facebook’s Comments Box social plugin the company tells me, and as of today they all support an optimized mobile commenting experience. Now you can criticize your least favorite bloggers — I mean participate in intelligent discussion while on the go. Just 10 months after the launch of the revamped plugin, Facebook is starting to creep up on commenting solutions like Disqus which appears on 1.1 million sites.
Comments Box has been a big win for Facebook, giving it exposure, driving use of its Subscribe feature, and demonstrating how Facebook authenticated identity can make the internet a more civil place.
Now when Comments Box detects a mobile device user agent, it will automatically show the mobile version. The new soft update to the Comments Box doesn’t require any developer interaction to enable, it just works.
Some sites using the old version of the plugin already supported mobile commenting. However, the buttons and entry fields looked too small and sometimes were unresponsive. The new version is the right size and makes it easy to comment, Like, and toggle posting to Facebook. You can try it out at m.beta.techcrunch.com/2012/01/11/facebook-mobile-comments/
Facebook’s comment widget first launched in 2009 but became a serious contender with its March 2011 relaunch. Since then Facebook has been playing catchup to commenting systems like Disqus and Livefyre, as well the distant frontrunner WordPress. It’s been iterating rapidly, and giving publishers more incentives to integrate the plugin.
The inclusion of links to subscribe to a commenter’s public Facebook updates draws in blogs. That’s because these links help grow the following a blog’s writers who frequently comment, who in turn publish the blog’s articles to their Facebook subscribes. The one-click ability to publish a comment to Facebook alongside a link to the article can boost referral traffic better than other solutions.
Along with the Like button, Comments Box is leading Facebook’s march across the web. If sites find the plugin reduces trolling and improves conversation by making commenters log in with their real identity, they may become more open to using other Facebook widgets. One day that could include an ad network plugin which could turn into an enormous revenue stream for Facebook.