Facebook updates its Comments Box plug-in

Summary:Facebook has updated its Comments Box plug-in for third-party websites. Have you noticed?

Facebook has rolled out an update to its Comments Box plug-in with new moderation tools as well as features to improve the distribution and quality of comments on third-party websites. Here's a break down of the update, which seems to be centered upon driving more traffic to these websites, and to Facebook itself, of course:

  • More Social Relevance: social signals are used to surface the highest quality comments. Comments are ordered to show users the most relevant comments from friends, friends of friends, and the most liked or active discussion threads. Comments marked as spam are hidden from view. Users can learn more about a person by looking next to their name to see mutual friends, work title, age, or current city. This information is still limited by the person's privacy settings; you can only see the information you already would have on Facebook.
  • Improved Moderation Tools: based on developer feedback, Facebook added the ability for administrators to make the default for new comments entered either "visible to everyone" or "has limited visibility" (the comment is only visible to the commenter and their friends). Admins can also blacklist words and ban users; comments with either are automatically set to limited visibility. Admins can moderate on the Comments Box directly or on the moderation dashboard. Users can also help moderate by clicking the "X" next to a comment and selecting one of the options.
  • Better Distribution: if a user leaves the "Post to Facebook" box checked when posting a comment, a story appears on his or her friends' News Feed. Discussion threads stay synced across Facebook and the Comments Box on third party websites. Users will also receive a notification whenever another user replies to their comment, and clicking on it will take the user back to the website where the comment was made.
  • Enabling other login providers: website Admins can give their users the option of logging in and commenting with other login providers. Facebook plans to add more login providers soon.

Here is some example code for integrating the Facebook Comments Box into your website: <html> <head> <meta property="fb:app_id" content="{YOUR_APPLICATION_ID}"> </head> <script src="http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"> </script> <body> <fb:comments href="YOUR_CANONICAL_URL"></fb:comments> </body> </html> "A variety of sites from around the world have integrated the updated Comments Box," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "We hope the updated Comments Box creates a better commenting experience on your site, making both participating and reading comments around the web more enjoyable."

I personally have not seen a Comments Box yet, with or without this update. Do any of the websites you visit have one?

Topics: Software Development, Browser, Social Enterprise

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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