General by Leon Hitchens on March 04, 2017
I use Facebook on a daily basis. I use it for getting my daily dose of news, whether it’s a fake news outlet or not. I also use Facebook for connecting with friends, sharing personal updates, and messaging others. The last thing I use Facebook for is work, from managing posts to now moderating comments. Yes, Facebook Comments are a huge driver of conversations off the core websites. They’re the easiest place for someone to leave feedback, leave a question, or leave an opinion. Facebook Comments can and are more widely being added to news websites from tech blogs to more mainstream sites.
The Facebook commenting system competes with Livefyre, Disqus, and publishers on commenting systems. The advantage of Facebook’s system is you’re always signed into Facebook, everyone has a Facebook account, and the comments can mirror on both the website and on Facebook. All those features make Facebook’s system a superior system compared to Disqus or other systems. While you’re able to use any account from Twitter, Facebook, or Google+, you ask users to go through a lengthy and a complicated login process that most folks don’t have time for these days. Back in the days, it made more sense to open up to everyone, but today there are 2 billion Facebook users with millions and millions of active users. That amount of active users gives you a giant pool of possible commenters.
Everything from the simple setup to numerous features gives website owners an advantage over other sites. We’ve moved all our commenting systems to Facebook’s to boost conversation on the site. We’ll hit the key points on why we made the change and what difference it has had on our sites.
While Digital Bounds sees thousands of monthly views, we’ve been unable to convert those readers to commenters. It’s not just one problem but multiple issues we needed to address. There was no one commenting thus leading others not to comment. The other complaint we’ve seen is they didn’t want to sign up to comment. While we had ways to authorize comments through Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other networks, users didn’t want to go through the process of having to sign in. It leads to comment sections going unused, something that personally bothered me.
As such, our team has been tossing around the idea of using Facebook’s commenting section on the website. The small A/B testing we started doing was showing different users Disqus comments and showing another user Facebook Comments. The change was significant, but with most users not commenting, as such, we didn’t think we’d see a backlash. We saw the opposite. We had dozens of comments posted on the site in the course of the week. While we still struggle to convert readers to commenters, we’ve had some evidence Facebook comments can lead to more commenters.
Comment Mirroring is the feature which allows Facebook comment sections to reflect on a webpage and a status update on a Facebook Page. It’s a simple idea but can lead to a more engaged audience. If readers see the article webpage has dozens of comments, they’ll want to join the conversation. The same idea works on Facebook status updates. If there are a few shares and a dozen comments they’ll jump into the conversation by first reading the article than navigating back to Facebook and leaving a comment. Those comments will appear on both Facebook and the web page.
The direct correlation between the better performance of the webpage will also mean increased performance on Facebook.
At first, our team wanted to move our comments sections to Facebook’s system, but the worry was around integration. We didn’t know how easy it was to add the comments onto our websites and turn on commenting mirroring. While diving into the code of the webpage isn’t always ideal, it only took 5 minutes to add in.
There is only a few pieces of code to enable the comments, with a lot of documentation from Facebook around standard errors and even common mistakes made. To turn on comment mirroring is done through a click of a button. Easy right!?
Another issue we faced was trusting Facebook. We have Instant Articles turned on, Facebook Comments, and we are using other Facebook tools on our sites. We all know all too well how Facebook can change their minds on how publishers make money, reach their audience, or how their pages look.
We’ve put a lot of faith in Facebook to do what’s best for their community of publishers. While we know they will always look out for them, they’ll always need to have publishers on their side. We will keep an eye on Facebook at all times in case they decide to change the way they do business.
Facebook Comments are one of the easiest ways to integrate third-party comments into your blog or website. We’ve seen an increase of comments, plus users love how fast it is—there’s no need to sign in. They’re already using Facebook on their phones and browsers, so they’re always signed in.
The comment mirroring keeps your website and Facebook page look more active and encourages users to comment. Overall, I’m not sure why it took us so long to adopt the Facebook commenting system.