Facebook has started 2011 off with a ton of announcements, such as the new business page features. Today, the social media giant made another step forward into getting itself even deeper into the lives of Internet users. Facebook announced that they have released a major upgrade to their commenting system.
Today Facebook's commenting plugin experienced a major face lift. It now includes major new features, such as threaded comments, moderation control and the ability to sync comments from a blog to a Facebook Page. Facebook has the new comments plugin running on its blog if you want to check them out.
Marketing Impact Of Facebook's New Commenting System
Facebook's new commenting plugin is a mixed bag. It provides innovation for blog comments, but does so at the sacrifice of important data and access. On the positive side, Facebook's new system encourages engagement on a company blog, while allowing businesses to build Facebook reach.
Reach - Every time a user posts a comment using Facebook's commenting tool, they have the option to also share that comment on their Facebook Wall. If users adopt this feature, this will be a big potential reach builder for businesses.
User Comfort - When a person sees a commenting system that looks and works like one they are used to seeing on Facebook, they will feel more comfortable participating. If a user is already logged into Facebook, they won't have to provide any identification information before they post a comment.
Relevance - With the current information overload that we all face today, context is critical on the Web. Facebook will display the most relevant comments from a user's friends at the top of the comments section.
Comment Syncing - Ever have several comments on an article on your Facebook page but none on your blog post? Facebook's new system will solve this problem. Article comments left on a Facebook page will now appear under your posts. Comments posted on your blog, in turn, will be now displayed on the Facebook Page.
The Trade Offs
When a new Web application is launched or experiences a major upgrade, it is never perfect. With Facebook comments, businesses give ownership of comments over to Facebook and lose the data gathering and analysis available with other commenting systems. Additionally, this system is still pretty closed, much like Facebook. For example, users can't use their Twitter account to sign in to comment. Comments from Twitter and Linkedin are not displayed. While Facebook brings some big new benefits to the table, businesses need to weigh the sacrifices before making the switch to Facebook's commenting plugin.
What do you think about these upgrades to Facebook's commenting plugin?