Facebook removes the Comment button

Facebook removes the Comment button

Summary: Facebook has removed the blue Comment button; posting a comment is now done by hitting the Enter key.

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TOPICS: Networking, Security
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Facebook has removed the blue Comment button from beside the comment box on its website. This appears to affect all Facebook objects that can be commented on: a story on the News Feed, a friend's status, a photo, and so on.

Previously, to comment on a Facebook object, users would type out their post and then click on the Comment button in the bottom right. Now, users are expected to type out their post and hit the Enter key.

This is a very minor change but given how often commenting is done on the social network, it's something quite noticeable. It is one of those things that users will attack with the "don't fix what ain't broke" argument.

Facebook clearly found that a large majority of comments were short and new users were hitting Enter with the expectation that the comment would be posted. The Comment button was always visible, so users quickly realized what they had to do. With this change though, it may be slightly harder to figure out to hit the Enter key to post a comment, but I'm sure users will figure this one out as well (in some cases, Facebook will show a "Press Enter to post your comment" message).

The one problem that I can see with this new method is regarding comments that are more than one paragraph. Users will hit Enter to go to the next line and realize their comment has been posted. They will then have to delete their comment and start again. Furthermore, it will be significantly harder for them to figure out that they need to hit Shift+Enter to create a new line without posting the comment (though again, in some cases Facebook will display a "Press Shift+Enter to a start a new line" message).

Topics: Networking, Security

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

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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40 comments
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  • RE: Facebook removes the Comment button

    Many of us are finding that this simply doesn't work. Yes, the shift enter gives a return, but the enter key does not post a comment.
    Certainlyus
    • answer hum

      yeah my too commenting is blocked
      :9
      Mohammad Qureshi
  • RE: Facebook removes the Comment button

    I love it! It's how "groups" have been working for a while, and I kept wondering why the rest of FB wasn't the same way. It is odd that they'd go with "shift" instead of "Alt" or "CTRL", though. Haven't noticed it not working ... ever.
    Antof9
    • RE: Facebook removes the Comment button

      @Antof9 That's because Shift+Enter is the command for a line feed, which is just a tad different from a carriage return. They're not explicitly programming shift+enter to create a new line.
      Aerowind
      • RE: Facebook removes the Comment button

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    • RE: Facebook removes the Comment button

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      adamjones342
  • RE: Facebook removes the Comment button

    Arrrh, I hate this!
    why did they change it? My comments now take up several individual comments since I always write in paragraphs, not one long line.
    I know i just have to press shift, but its just a pain
    Will T
    • try fb purity

      check out fb purity, it restores the facebook comment button, along with lots of other cool features for neutralising lots of other annoying facebook "features" :)
      http://fbpurity.com
      misterzee
  • RE: Facebook removes the Comment button

    My "Shift+Enter" was bound to something else (I have a gaming keyboard), so I had to unbind that just to post on my Facebook. They really should have given both options. There was nothing wrong with the "Comment" button to begin with, so just add "Enter" as an alternative.
    clokverkorange
  • If they removed the logon button that would be the best

    no logging on, no problems!
    Will Farrell
  • RE: Facebook removes the Comment button

    It doesn't work on my "MAC"...! Even when I make a comment in my feed I hit the "Enter" button and just acts like a return and my comment does not post!

    This sucks..What was the problem with the "Blue Comment" key in the 1st place???????????? I deactivated my account since..It's 2 days now without FB..I'm going through "Withdrawls" but Hey I'm not going to have a wall if I can't "Interact" with my Family & Friends...You SUCK TECHS @ Face Book....Booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
    Jwright201166
    • RE: Facebook removes the Comment button

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    • RE: Facebook removes the Comment button

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  • Javascript hack that overrides the Browser UI

    I think this is a mistake - it breaks the UI away from the standards that are followed on innumerable other websites.

    While browsers were initially designed to be content viewers, they have evolved into 2-way communication tools. HTML forms are the bread-and-butter method for users to transmit data back to the webserver. Within an HTML form, there are two different text-entry field types: an "input:text" field, and a "textarea". (Both are used by this site's Talkback feature.)

    When the user presses "enter" in an input:text field, most browsers treat that the same as clicking the form's "submit" button. But pressing "enter" in a textarea field, most browsers add a linebreak to the user input and the user can continue typing.

    Both controls have their place and purpose in HTML forms:
    - input:text fields are good for short, single line data (eg first name, last name, email address, alias)
    - textarea fields are good for multi-line data (eg this very response!)

    The Comment field in Facebook is a textarea field. They are utilizing Javascript to monitor the user's keystrokes and trigger a "submit" call when the user presses "enter". I think this is a bad idea for a few reasons:
    - Some folks have Javascript turned off, or limit what Javascript can do.
    - Not all browsers have good Javascript engines (primarily talking about mobile browsers on older cell phones, but also some desktop browsers other than the big four (IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera)
    - It is inconsistent with existing UI expectations/standards. Facebook is the only website I know of that treats a multi-line textarea field as an input:text field. And they had to write a Javascript hack to emulate that functionality.
    - It encourages/reinforces bad user behavior. Users will expect this functionality in other places. This includes not just other websites, but other areas of Facebook itself! For example, they still have a "share" button when making a status update - the two fields have nearly the same look, feel, and intent, yet the user now interacts with them differently.
    R_Connelie
  • RE: comment button [and it does not work for some of us!]

    Certainlyus is right: many of us are having this or similar problems. If you don't, then you're lucky your system is different in some way (likely, more "establishment" since I see Mac and Linux people getting screwed.) I use SeaMonkey (off Puppy Linux) to access Facebook. That new comment "system" (replace add comment button, and now just press "enter" to post) does not work when I try! (Yeah, the shift-enter does drop the line, but nothing gets the comment up.)<br><br>Is this something about their not accommodating Linux browsers, what? Are other Linux users experiencing problems relating to the changes? This is grossly irresponsible of them, what excuse can they have for not testing up enough. It's awful, please help us. tx<br><br>PS, R_Connelie@... , you seem to grasp what's going on better than most, any prospects/advice? tx
    paradoxer
    • Prospects/advice: none

      @paradoxer
      Just perused the HTML/CSS for the comment block. The Comment button is still there in HTML, but is hidden by a CSS class style called "hidden_elem". Because they're hiding the button via CSS, I can't think of any workarounds for you.

      If they were hiding the button via Javascript, then you might be able to intercept the hiding code using the NoScript add-on.

      The fact that Facebook has pushed this "feature" live tells me they've got some overzealous and inexperienced developers. (Not to mention a schizophrenic UI design team, but we already suspected that...) Any developer or project lead with a few years of multi-platform development experience would have rightfully shot this idea down; there are way too many uncontrollable variables to ensure the feature works for everybody.
      R_Connelie
      • RE: Facebook removes the Comment button

        @R_Connelie@...
        Thanks for trying and the tech input.
        BTW, SeaMonkey (Linux) from their FB page told me it should work OK on their latest release 2.0.12. Well that helps, but you (and thombone, below) are right about FB's pitiful arrogance and clumsy lack of respect for their users.
        paradoxer
  • it's worse on mobile phones

    I used my Facebook app on my Android phone yesterday and when I finished typing my comment in the box there was no 'comment' button. Hitting the enter key on my virtual keyboard on the phone didn't post the comment... it gave me a new line in the box. So this clearly was not tested on mobile phones before rolling it out. What a shame.
    steveholt68
  • RE: Facebook removes the Comment button

    Here is a workaround, maybe won't help steveholt68 since even though it is re "mobile" it is still their weird mobile-oriented URL. Well, I went to the website (via browser, important distinction) <a href="http://m.facebook.com," target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://m.facebook.com,</a> and found I could still comment there since the comment buttons are still available once you click into commenting.
    paradoxer
    • RE: Facebook removes the Comment button

      @paradoxer You are right.... m.facebook.com in my mobile browser still has the buttons. But I sure hope they update that app soon.
      steveholt68