According to a report in CNET, Facebook is about to roll out a new commenting system for blogs and other publications. Right now it is possible to set up a commenting system on websites using Facebook Connect. However, according to the CNET report, the new commenting system will have a much deeper integration that what is currently possible with Facebook Connect.
This is what Caroline McCarthy of CNET wrote:
Facebook will be able to power the entire commenting system--handling the log-in and publishing, cross-promoting comments on individuals' Facebook walls, and possibly even promoting them as well on media outlets' own "fan" pages. Undoubtedly, the Facebook "like" button will be deeply integrated as well.
In a statement issued to TechCrunch, Facebook has confirmed that they are indeed working on a commenting system. The key point of the new commenting system is authenticity and social distribution. They also added that they are testing the system in the Facebook Blog and Facebook Developer Blog.
Based on feedback from developers about ways to improve our existing comments plugin, we’re testing an updated plugin that leverages authenticity and social relevancy to increase distribution. We’re testing the plugin on our Facebook Blog and Developer Blog but have no further details to share at this time.
Beside the social distribution, which every content creator desires, authenticity is the main point here. I believe it is the main reason why any content creator would want to use Facebook comments. If the comments are linked to their Facebook profile, people are less likely to leave troll comments and more likely to engage in useful discussion.
This looks like bad new for all the startups in this field like Disqus, Echo, Intense Debate etc. However, the main selling point of Facebook comments - authenticity - could well be its weakest point. Although, content creators may not want anonymous comments, that is not always what the commenters like. People like anonymity on the internet - not every commenter wants the other commentors on the blog to see see his Facebook profile and not every Facebook user wants their friends to see every comment they made on a website.
Another problem might be that not everyone has a Facebook profile. There are some people who are against Facebook and will never join Facebook.
Of course, both these problems can be solved if Facebook allows multiple logins like login through Twitter, Google, Open ID etc. This will be a feature in the Facebook commenting system according to the CNET report. But it is not present in the commenting systems live at The Facebook Blog and Facebook Developers Blog - you can only post as you (your Facebook profile) and as Facebook pages for which you are the admin.
If they do allow multiple login though, their main selling point - authenticity - is lost and they become just another commenting system. Anyway, if the rumor is true, we will see for ourself and decide in a few weeks.
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