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Facebook’s New Commenting Platform for Third-Parties

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Jaimin is the Co-Founder of Technolicious, where he is currently the Editor, User Interface Analyst and Search Engine Optimizer. He is a student of Computer Applications and blogs about anything related to software and web applications, he finds worth sharing.

Over the last few months there have been numerous reports about Facebook revamping and bringing major updates to its embeddable Comments Box plugin, with new moderation tools as well as features to improve the distribution and quality of comments on third-party websites and become a viable competitor to the likes of Disqus, Echo, IntenseDebate, LiveFyre and other popularly used CMS platforms. Well, the reports were true, and on Tuesday, Facebook lifted the curtain on its new commenting platform.

 

First, you’ll notice that if you’re already logged into Facebook, you won’t have to click through any authentication options. More important, you’ll notice that any comments you write are being left under your real name, as it uses the authenticated identity of your Facebook profile, leaving no option to comment anonymously, which spells bad news for trolls and spammers and above all, readers can mark comments as spam.

 

Following is the descriptive overview, covering all the features.

 


More Social Relevance


 

Instead of showing everyone the same reverse chronological order of comments, comments by user’s friends and friends of friends, as well as comments with the most number of likes and replies, will appear higher in the stack, while comments marked as spam are hidden from view.

 

Social Relevance

 

Each commenter’s details such as mutual friends, work title, age, and current city from their Facebook profile appears next to their name. This information shown will always respect the person’s privacy settings.

 


Moderation Tools


 

Admins get access to the moderation dashboard, accessible from a link on Settings, which aggregates comments from all Comment Boxes across the site and shows a public and admin view, from where they can change the visibility of a comment or all new comments from making visible to Everyone, to visible only to the commenter and their friends i.e. limited visibility, to help mitigate irrelevant content.

 

Comment Moderation Tool

 

In addition, admins can also blacklist words and ban users. If a new comment is published from a banned user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility.

 


Distribution


 

If a user leaves the “Post to Facebook" box checked when they post a comment, a story appears on their friends’ News Feed indicating that the person made a comment on the website, which will also link back to the site. And if a friend comments beneath it, a “Comment on [Site’s Name]” button shall appear, informing them that their comment will be automatically syndicated to the website’s comments reel.

 

News Feed Story

 

Likewise, a Page admin can leave a comment as a Facebook Page and the comment will be shared on the Page’s Wall so people who’ve liked the Page have the opportunity to join the conversation as well by liking or replying to the comment directly from the News Feed on Facebook and the comment shall also show up and appear on the website’s comment box, which means that discussion threads stay synced across Facebook and the Comments Box on the site regardless of where the comment was made.

 

Users will also receive a notification whenever another user replies to their comment. Clicking on the notification will take the user back to the web page where the comment originates.

 

Reply Notifications

 


Other login providers


 

As for those visitors, who do not have a Facebook Account, will have the option of authenticating their identity, in order to comment, by logging into their account with any of the listed third-parties. At launch, it’s including support for Yahoo IDs, but they’re working and planning to provide a few more options as well in the near future.

 

Login

 


How to integrate


 

The upgraded Comments Box is easy for sites to implement and requires just one line of code:

 

<div id="fb-root"></div>

<script src="http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"></script>

<fb:comments href="YOUR_CANONICAL_URL"></fb:comments>

 

If you already have the old Comments Box installed, include the parameter migrated="1" to keep existing comments and there’s no need to provide the href parameter:

 

<div id="fb-root"></div>

<script src="http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"></script>

<fb:comments xid="YOUR_XID" migrated="1"></fb:comments>

 

You will also need to add the appropriate Open Graph meta tags to access moderation. Add these meta tags to the <head> section of your site’s template:

 

In order to add comment moderation to Facebook’s comment box, register for a Facebook application and note the App ID.

 

To moderate comments across a site, all moderators must be added as admins of the app:

 

<meta property="fb:app_id" content="{YOUR_APPLICATION_ID}">

 

To receive notifications on every comment posted to the Comment Box, add:

 

<meta property="fb:admins" content="{YOUR_USER_ID}">

 

Full example here:

 

<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>

 

<div id="fb-root"></div>

 

<fb:comments href="YOUR_CANONICAL_URL"></fb:comments>

 

</body>

</html>

 

To access the moderation dashboard and tweak the comment box according to your needs, go to:

 

http://developers.facebook.com/tools/comments?id=YOUR_APPLICATION_ID

 


 

You can learn more about how it works by watching this video:

 

 

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