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Facebook Begins Rolling Out Ranked And Threaded Comments

huffpo repliesToday, Facebook page administrators who run pages with over 10,000 followers will be given the option to use the brand new comment features that Facebook tested in November last year: ranked and threaded comments.

To improve the quality of conversations and interactions on brand, company and personal pages with large numbers of followers, Facebook has introduced a threaded comments feature, allowing users to reply to specific comments in a thread. Each comment on an original story or post will contain a “reply” button beneath it, beside the usual “like” button. If a user replies to a comment, their reply will appear beneath the comment, tabulated slightly further to the right-hand side of the page. Or, if someone has already replied to the comment, beneath the previous reply.

Threaded comments will make it easier for users and page owners to join and follow specific conversations beneath posts. For example, if someone asks where a posted photograph was taken, the photographer can post an answer immediately underneath, while other users can post that they recognised the area or they appreciate its beauty.

Facebook has also created an algorithmic sorting system which ranks comments based on the amount of interaction they receive, i.e. how many replies and likes they get. This system will help promote the most engaging – both in terms of interest and in terms of how much users engage with them – comments, hence making further engagement more likely. The ranking system will not only help page administrators increase page engagement, it will also help users to find the conversations which most appeal to them.

The algorithm also takes into account the user’s contacts, promoting comments from people within their friendship group and network. Comments labelled as spam, however, will be demoted lower in the comments list, while the comments of frequent spammers might also be down-ranked, says Facebook.

“We think this update will allow for easier management of conversations around posts, which is a better experience for people interacting with Pages and public figure profiles,” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch in a conversation last week.

From today, page owners with over 10,000 followers can opt in to the new comment service, but Facebook plan to make it compulsory by July 10th. Threaded and ranked comments are not yet available on mobile, an oversight which, considering they are a self-proclaimed mobile-focused company, does not reflect particularly well on Facebook. Replies will appear on mobile devices, but just as regular comments.

Overall, threaded and ranked comments should prove to be very useful features for Facebook page owners, allowing easier interaction and helping to provide metrics on the success of posts.

Have you opted into the new comments service? What do you think?

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Will Sigsworth

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Or go to our Facebook page, Social Media Frontiers.
Facebook Begins Rolling Out Ranked And Threaded Comments Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, March 25, 2013 Rating: 5
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