You may have already seen Facebook Comments on some blogs here and there — 50,000 websites according to a post on the Facebook Developer Blog today.
Make that 50,001”¦
Utilizing the Facebook Comments for WordPress plugin, some handy instructions from Jimmy Mackin at TheMLSApp.com, and some minor tinkering mixed in with minor swearing, Facebook Comments are now live on Phoenix Real Estate Guy.
Just scroll down to the bottom of this post and you’ll be able to comment in a Facebook sort of way. For the time being, both the Facebook Comments and the native WordPress commenting will both be available. How long is “the time being”? I have no idea. There are three things that need to happen for me to kill off the WordPress comment functionality:
1) Facebook needs to add additional capability for non-Facebook users to leave comments. Yes, while it seems everyone on the planet has a Facebook account, that’s not true (yet) and I don’t want non-Facebook users to be unable to comment. At this moment in time, Facebook allows third-party users of AOL, Yahoo! and Hotmail to comment without logging into (or having) a Facebook account. There are rumors that Twitter and GMail users will be added at some point.
2) I’ve got to figure out how to leave existing WordPress comments on older posts. I’m not about to wipe out 21,000+ existing comments. There’s some good stuff in those comments. This may be as simple as closing comments ”“ which should leave existing comments in place and just remove the ability to add new comments via the native WordPress functionality. But I want to run both comment systems concurrently, at least until more testing and login options happen for the FB comments.
3) I need data. Testing must occur, feedback needs to be gathered, and some decision needs to be made whether to keep Facebook Comments, make that the only way to comment, or leave both options available.
What are the benefits of Facebook Comments?
I have to admit, the idea of “spreading the comment love” out to the Facebook world is intriguing. Let’s face it, there are a bazillion people on Facebook, and a pretty decent chunk of them spend a lot of their online time on The Facebook. Extending the “reach” of the blog to that space certainly has some level of appeal.
Facebook Comments are pretty cool. You can post a comment here on the blog and chose (or not) to have that comment posted to your Facebook profile. If someone comments on your Profile posting, their comments are fed back here and published here as well.
Don’t ask me how they do that. It’s probably magic, or voodoo, and just another step in Mark Zuckerberg’s plan for total
Internet world domination.
In theory, this increases “engagement” and “reach” and should help do some of those things bloggers seek like drive traffic, grow readership and provide an opportunity for commenters to share and interact.
I’m not opposed to shutting it off. There are some pretty vocal people out there in the Blogiverse that are whining about Facebook comments. But, if after sufficient data is collected and the Facebook Comments prove helpful, people like them, and the planet doesn’t spin off its axis and go hurling into space, then maybe they’ll stick around.
I still have some styling and tweaking to do, but you’re welcome (encouraged in fact) to give it a whirl”¦