Gini Dietrich

Pros and Cons of the Facebook Comments Plugin

By: Gini Dietrich | March 10, 2011 | 

It’s Facebook question of the week time (clap, clap, clap)!

Ken Colburn asks, “What are the pros and cons of the new Facebook Comments plugin that just launched?”

For those of you who don’t know, last week (last week? two weeks ago?) Facebook launched a service that allows you to post your blog comments to your stream. From the development blog:

Comments Box is a social plugin that enables user commenting on your site so they are easily shared with friends or with people who like your Page. If a user leaves the “Post to Facebook” box checked when she posts a comment, a story appears on her friends’ News Feed and links back to your site.

Friends and people who like the Page can then respond to the discussion by liking or replying directly in the News Feed or on your site. Threads stay synced across regardless of where the comment was made.

My answer to Ken on this topic is in the video below (if you can’t see it in your RSS feed, click here and it’ll magically appear).

What do you think? Do you post your comments to Facebook (or Twitter)? If you have a blog, are you going to install this plugin? Do you find this annoying or helpful?

Geoff Livingston did an interesting, and very thoughtful, blog post about this very topic last week. Head over there and see what he has to say. But after you answer the above questions and my question (totally unrelated; below)!

P.S. In return for answering Ken’s question (and yours in an upcoming week if you leave one!), I ask you a question on the Arment Dietrich wall. So head over there and tell me what you think! You can even like the page, answer, and unlike the page if you don’t want to friend us. It won’t hurt my feelings. Well, not much.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

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  • Do you know that your voice is not synchronized with your lips, Gini? Something to look into.

    I haven’t seen any blogs implement Facebook Comments — in this official version. In the past, I enabled the Simple Facebook Connect plugin on my wordpress blog to let people add a comment, but that was confusing because there were two commenting systems at once. The neat thing about SFC is any comment left on my blog was echoed on their own wall aka Facebook sharing.

    I suggest, for a spin on things, pun intended, to take a look at my friend John Eckman’s plugin called WPBook which allows for your blog to be a Facebook application and any comment posted in one place is also posted in the other. I once had it installed and may bring it back in the future.

    Links referenced above:

  • samtaracollier

    Morning Gini!

    You look fantastic as usual – my videos never look as good as yours. We should do a video on how to look good on camera similar to how to cut your bangs.

    Back to the point. Thank you for posting about this. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the updated commenting plugin. I was pretty into it at first but then read an article that kind of killed it for me. I’ll find the publication’s name (can’t think of it now) but I read that since they implemented the new FB commenting system all of their comments were “nice”. Nobody had anything controversial to say anymore. This was perceived to be because the posters didn’t want their FB network to see their opinnions etc. They don’t have the ability to post anonymously anymore (which can be good for spam). This changed the whole mood of an otherwise open debate. That’s kind of a negative for me.

  • NancyMyrland

    @samtaracollier Samantha, isn’t that an odd thought in that article you read? I don’t know why people would want to comment anonymously, do you, unless they are just in to hit and run commenting to start a little controversy without having a name attached. Interesting approach to communication!

  • samtaracollier

    @NancyMyrland Yes I agree that it is weird. People that comment anonymously are usually saying something they don’t want to author publicly, but on the other hand, they might not want to share it with their network(s) either. But I think I recall the new plugin has the option of not posting to FB right?

  • samtaracollier

    This is a link to an article referencing the point: – Enjoy!

  • I don’t see this as particularly useful. I think it’s important that every online presence understand where their center of community is and subordinate all the other tools as points of contact with that. Many of my clients are bars/restaurants, which is to say that the center of community is the bar itself – so all online activity feeds to the “live” experience as either points of contact or as content.

    Spreading your community over several platforms encourages the development of distinct communities which you then have to manage. At best that takes time, at worst they develop distinct personalities. Yes, you increase your points of contact with this new app, but I think you dilute what’s really important in the process. I also agree that too much twitter / facebook traffic out of context will be a huge turn-off for most people who aren’t devoting huge gobs of daily time to social media, as has been shown in several good research polls.

    So I say this is a big “No” until I can find a use for it.

  • Pingback: Facebookbiz Abendschau: Topsy, Social Bullying, Censorship, Comments Plugin &()

  • I really understand you with getting annoyed by seeing a lot of various comments on someones wall. I know that I would get annoyed by it very quickly. Yes, it does give your blog some exposure to more readers but if you are a person that comments on a vase amount of blogs then it would be quite bad for the people that are your friends on Facebook. I mean you could break it up and not always comment via the plugin but that is only if the blog offers a different way of commenting.

  • Ana | Traffic Generation

    I do have FB comments on my blog, but don’t really like it.

    I don’t like the fact that you can’t efficiently answer the comments since they are not nested.

    From a user point of view, FB comments suck because they are not indexed my search engines, thus preventing any backlink possibility.

    Plus, if the blog owner ever decides to get rid of the plugin, all the traces of you ever participating in a conversation on that blog are as good as gone… oh, wait, they are gone! 🙂


  • It’s a shame that the twitter and facebook call out on Livefyre is so invisible ! I mean, they could at least have coloured the letters in their respective blue.

  • ginidietrich

    @jonbuscall Shhhh! We don’t want people to use it!

  • ginidietrich

    @Ana | Traffic Generation That’s my feeling on it too. Plus the whole comment taken out of context in my news stream is totally annoying to me. Fun seeing you here Ana!

  • harryfassett

    Hey Gini I was just looking into the comments plugin from facebook when I ran across Ana’s mention of you on my facebook page. Oh, and you have a great video presence! i.e. very nice! Keep up the great work Gini.

  • ginidietrich

    @Justicewordlaw I’m with you. I don’t want to see what people are commenting. And I KNOW no one wants to see how many blogs I comment on. But I just had an idea to flood your wall with comments. Just for the sheer pleasure. 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @wabbitoid So you didn’t add this comment to your Facebook wall?

  • ginidietrich

    @samtaracollier @NancyMyrland I’ll read the article (thanks for the link), but I can see the point. I use Facebook totally differently. You both know I use it as my stand-up comedy stage. I rarely talk business or anything serious there. If my friends saw me commenting on business blogs all day, my whole purpose for the tool would go out the window.

  • ginidietrich

    @ariherzog Something happens when I upload to YouTube from either QuickTime or Photo Booth that does that. Any idea why?!

  • ginidietrich

    @harryfassett Aren’t you nice?! You just made my day!

  • ginidietrich

    @samtaracollier OMG! I’m going to have nightmares from that photo!

  • C_Pappas

    When I saw the announcement on this all I could think about was when LinkedIn allowed people to connect to Twitter and all of a sudden status updates were changing so fast that they lost their meaning to me. This is the same way. Given that Facebook is traditionally (and I know there is an overlap) for ‘pleasure’, why would I want my friends to see comments like this one? Maybe a handful are in the biz, but a majority dont have an interest in the Facebook Comment plug-in and they most likely dont even know it exists. Nah – I vote down on this one.

  • C_Pappas

    When I saw the announcement on this all I could think about was when LinkedIn allowed people to connect to Twitter and all of a sudden status updates were changing so fast that they lost their meaning to me. This is the same way. Given that Facebook is traditionally (and I know there is an overlap) for ‘pleasure’, why would I want my friends to see comments like this one? Maybe a handful are in the biz, but a majority dont have an interest in the Facebook Comment plug-in and they most likely dont even know it exists. Nah – I vote down on this one.

  • ginidietrich

    @C_Pappas I’m with you. And if you comment here AND I see it on FB, I’d be like, “Dude! Stop it!” OK. Maybe not…but you know what I mean.

  • Well. Between the post & comments on THIS post, I am pretty sure I’m not going to install it. Thank you, Gini et al!

  • @ginidietrich @samtaracollier @NancyMyrland That’s the point right there. My Facebook friends are my buddies from High School and College, and a ton of my family members. They don’t care what I have to say about the new iPad or what I think about a Twitter outage. It’s a different set of people that I interact with in comment sections, and I like it that way.

  • @wabbitoid Exactly. Why would you outsource your community to Facebook? Most bloggers have spent a lot of time developing a community around their content, and this just fragments your audience and makes the conversation less meaningful. Great points.

  • samtaracollier

    @ginidietrich @samtaracollier I know right?! Like seriously, i think they picked the worst one they could find!

  • demlasjr

    @wabbitoid you’re right… My opinion is that all what they want is to make us staying more time on facebook. And absolutely, as a Seesmic Desktop user I don’t want to be spammed each minute with articles via facebook. If I want to read about something I’m gonna find myself. There can be some guys reading something what I don’t like, or in other language and I need to suffer getting all that stuff. If there will be a woman commenting on some cooking articles ? Do I really need to see recipes everyday on my feed ? This will make me using the “Block” button for sure. As I said, just my opinion….Hope I understood well what that plugin’s doing, because I don’t seen it in action…

  • ginidietrich

    @Shonali And there you go!

  • jennimacdonald

    Gini I agree with your Con and I feel like it outweighs the Pro if you use Facebook for professional development & networking.

    I do think it would be slightly annoying to constantly see your blog comments out of context and if it were me I would be afraid that my friend might hide my updates in their newsfeed. If so it could eliminate the chance to network with them since they would not see any of my updates.

  • ginidietrich

    @jennimacdonald Well, I’ve hidden you from my newsfeed, but you keep finding me! HAHAHA! Just teasing! It’d be super annoying, right?!

  • WillReichard

    I added the new Facebook comments to my own little blog. Who am I to tell 600 million people they shouldn’t use their preferred method? I also have Disqus, which I like from an anti-monopoly standpoint (as I do Livefyre in principle), but it obviously doesn’t have and isn’t likely to have the user base of Facebook. And I’m all for anything that makes conversation easier.

    That said, it’s a classic Facebook move–to your “con,” I’d say it will be very messy and noisy for a while until Facebook improves its streams so that they’re something digestible. UX has never been their strong suit. They’ll have to come up with a way to separate them out somehow. It’s SOP for them–discover a new value, push it out into the world half-baked, then react, back up as needed, and actually finish it.

    Thanks for looking at this as a pro and con! Much-needed sanity in this discussion.

  • TheDataDoc

    Gini, I found this post from TechCrunch interesting for those battling trolls: Facebook Comments Have Silenced The Trolls — But Is It Too Quiet?

  • TheDataDoc

    @ginidietrich See if this helps you with your audio sync issue Gini:

  • ginidietrich

    @TheDataDoc OMG! Totally trying that now. THANK YOU!

  • ginidietrich

    @TheDataDoc I read that earlier. I suppose with a site like TechCrunch, you have to worry about the trolls. But we don’t really have any here. If we did, the community would eat them alive (and it’d be super fun to watch!). My con on this issue is that we have people who comment here with a lot of passion and energy. Do we really want to see that in their FB stream, too?

  • ginidietrich

    @WillReichard Oh I’ll tell 600 million people they’re wrong! 🙂 You bring up a great point – I shall revisit this topic when it looks like they’ve figured out the UX.

  • demlasjr

    Oh yes guys, don’t forget that not everybody have a facebook account, so this plugin will be absolutely limited…In Europe, Asia, there are still plenty of people using Hi5 or just MySpace. This will stop many people commenting on blogs. There are many people avoid to making an account on the big CIA Facebook. At least with Livefyre we have alternative….Yahoo OAuth will be great to be added too… Hope the guys from livefyre will be doing that in the future 🙂

  • WillReichard

    @ginidietrich LOL–that’s definitely the quote of the day.

  • @demlasjr livefyre We’ll be adding more soon, Yahoo is definitely a front runner 🙂

  • Lisa Gerber

    @wabbitoid you just made me think that Facebook is trying to become the walmart of social media – not in price, but by having everything! and trying to suck the life out of all the other networks. when honestly, we’d just rather go to specialty shops for our social networking. Not only do I now want to know what people are commenting on their own niche blogs they follow, but I also don’t want to know where they ARE when I’m on FB.

  • ginidietrich

    @demlasjr That’s a GREAT point!

  • ginidietrich

    @Lisa Gerber Coming from the woman who LOVES Facebook!

  • demlasjr

    @jkretch livefyre There are 2 fronts: USA, Canada and the rest of America, Western and Central Europe and Australia with hotmail (and 80 % of the total have facebook too) and the Asia, Africa and The Eastern Europe using yahoo (only 20-30 % having facebook). The Yahoo OAuth will help them being active too…I read somewhere about the stats…

  • @WillReichard While Facebook has 600 million users, I’d argue that you are actually making the pool smaller. With Livefyre, users can sign in using their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Google account. While on Facebook you can share with your Facebook friends, here you can share with Twitter or Facebook, and actually contact your friends directly from the content. Basically more options means more reach, which Facebook is lacking.

  • demlasjr

    And I neither planning to make my users read my posts on Facebook instead visiting my website and increasing my page rank (devilish) 😀

  • Lisa Gerber

    I LOVE facebook. in its pure form. @ginidietrich

  • tricomb2b

    From a B2B perspective, it would not be very useful to our company (TriComB2B) as Facebook isn’t used as a touch point by other businesses or our clients for that matter. The only way that it would be somewhat manageable would be a method to filter the messages from the blogs on the newsfeed but that’s just another hassle to deal with also. Overall, doesn’t seem to be useful at the moment unless you’re trying to stalk someone on Facebook, ha! In that case, it might come in handy.

  • WillReichard

    @jennalanger I tend to agree, Jenna….definitely why it’s a second commenting system on my own blog (Disqus being the first). Still, there are a lot of people who are only on Facebook and who won’t take the time to create another account…to my eye, the pressure toward Facebook Comments is going to be very strong. I’d imagine they’ll tweak it as they go, too, and eventually allow you to tag friends while you comment. None of this is to say I think that’s how it should be…just that it seems likely.

  • JkretchTester01

    @demlasjr @livefyre

  • demlasjr

    @JkretchTester01 I got the notification in my email if you want to test that 🙂

  • HowieSPM

    My pent up back logged commentary is ready! I have challenged some people to prove to me that just one Facebook’s exploitation of people’s streams efforts for businesses to invade our lives has been successful. They have tried so many things and have not had a winner. Places. Deals. Open Graph. Selling people’s information. Email. Fan pages. Nothing has been a home run or even a double. The only successful money maker has been social gaming and facebook ads, which now have been outed as a failure for very poor click through rate. And since Facebook has built everything around the Posting Feed, the more things that get added the less we will see devaluing that stream even more. They already peaked last year. Growth has been Zero in the US since July and since last April usage per person per day has dropped dramatically. Why? because the less value we find in that update stream the less reason we have to be on Facebook.

    Who the hell is their strategic visionary person? They should be fired. Then deported to Antarctica. And then buried 300 feet under the ice never to be seen again. Sigh.

  • ginidietrich

    @HowieSPM I tried it from TechCrunch. It’s pretty interesting. My friends commented on my comment (it was simply “testing out Facebook comments from TechCrunch”) and they showed up on the blog. I suppose if you wanted your friends to check out a new blog, it’s a cool little tool.

  • ginidietrich

    @tricomb2b I was curious what it did so I tested it from this story A few of my friends commented on my comment, in my stream, and they’re all on the TechCrunch story. Based on this, there might be an application for B2B. I haven’t decided yet.

  • ginidietrich

    @demlasjr Ha! ME TOO!

  • tamcdonald

    The cons outweigh the pros by a long shot. If you want to take advantage of getting more traffic to your blog through Facebook there are plenty of other ways to do it. It’s my opinion that the more automated postings become on Facebook, the value of the information will be diluted.

  • ginidietrich

    @tamcdonald I agree with you. It sounds like Facebook may figure out how to filter comments from our streams, but I still think it’s a bit much.

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  • jstarr

    Just a comment on the “selling of data.” Facebook is not selling it — just allowing users to choose to share if they want. It’s a small but important difference — and should benefit users as well as developers. (see,2817,2381124,00.asp)

  • skeptic

    This benefits Facebook, and who else? As usual. Not a fan of Zuckerberg. He screwed over his friends in college and he will screw his customers too. He can be trusted as far as he can be thrown.

  • skeptic

    @jennalanger @WillReichard My question is does everyone want to hear everyone’s comments on their facebook account? There is already “too much” unnecessary sharing on facebook in my opinion. Do we also want to hear all their comments from every thing they comment on? And then we all know Facebook considers it their property, not yours the commenters. After reading through the litigation against Zuckerberg, he doesn’t strike me as someone who wouldn’t sell his mother. It just extends the Zuckerberg creep factor in my opinion.

  • NancyM.

    I personally think it is helpful for businesses because it offers more publicity without extra effort from the business’s part. For ordinary users though, it could be a pain. I post different things on my blog, facebook and twitter. Some things I post to my blog are not meant for my family and friends on facebook to see for example, neither the comments on them.

  • AubreyDustin

    I have just updated a set of instructions that includes complete SEO of Facebook comments. Come check it out if you need a little more help.

  • MichaelIsTaken

    @skeptic But he can be thrown much further than one femtometer, which is as far as he can be trusted.

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