There are a variety of tools websites can use for user comments on blog posts and other content. Facebook has offered an option for years, and there have always been pros and cons of using its solution. The company held its annual f8 developer conference this week, and introduced some changes. There are still pros and cons, but there are new ones to consider.
Facebook launched an update to its Comments plugin with what it calls “a cleaner design to make the plugin compatible with more sites and optimized for mobile.” It also comes with a new moderation tool with better spam filtering.
The really interesting part, however, is that there’s a new feature that syncs comments between content on your website and that same content as shared on your Facebook page. This particular feature is in beta, but could be the one that truly makes the plugin a better option for business websites.
“With Comment Mirroring, people can participate in a single conversation, whether comments come from your web page or your Facebook Page,” Facebook explains. “When you share a link from your website to your Facebook page, comments on your webpage will also appear as comments on your Facebook post and vice versa.”
“Comments are ordered to display the most relevant comments from friends and friends of friends as well as the most-liked or active discussion threads,” it says. “Comments marked as spam are hidden from view.”
If you want to change the default, use the data-order-by attribute and replace “social” with “time” or “reverse_time”.
You can also adjust the language. More on how to do that here.
One drawback of the new version of the plugin is that it no longer supports third-party login on comment boxes, so users will have to use their Facebook profiles. This makes sense given the comment mirroring feature, so it’s really only a drawback if you think you’ll miss people not using Facebook to comment, which is certainly a possibility. This could be the main thing that keeps some sites from adopting the plugin as their commenting option.
You can find all the documentation you should need for the new Comments plugin here.