Lee Heidel

Make Your Website Social with Facebook Comments

Owners of blogs and other websites that thrive on social interaction have faced a dilemma since the beginning of the format: How can I best receive feedback from readers? The historical answer has been an embedded comments form, powered by the underlying content management system (like Movable Type or Wordpress) or a similar 3rd party solution (like Disqus or Intense Debate). 

With the launch of the Facebook Comments plugin, several roadblocks associated with traditional commenting methods are remedied. 

1) Users are verified
When someone posts on your website using the Facebook Comments plugin, their real name, occupation and profile photo are displayed alongside their comment. If they are there to troll or be obnoxious, they will not be anonymous. SPAM comments are a thing of the past.

2) Moderation is scalable
You can tie your comments to a Facebook Application. That way, you can assign as many moderators (users able to delete or edit comments) as you'd like without having to give them access to your underlying CMS.

3) Comments are searchable
Google is now indexing embedded Facebook comments, so no worries about losing valuable search engine text by using a 3rd party system.

4) Comments are social
This is the biggest one. When a user leaves a comment on your website using the Facebook Comments plugin, the comment (and a link) are automatically published into that user's activity stream. This allows your content to virally spread to that user's sphere of friends without any extra effort.

Example of embedded Facebook comments at HomeTheaterReview.com

However, there are some drawbacks as well. The big one is the loss of ownership of your comments. If you're worried about preserving these comments for posterity, you can export them using Facebook's developer tools. For most users, the value of moderation, verification and social sharing will outweigh that inconvenience.

If you'd like to learn how Facebook Comments can add value to your website, Let's Talk.