Facebook is testing two new options for comments on page posts that would allow users to reply to specific comments as well as arrange comments based on a ranking system.
Though the social network hasn’t commented on further plans to release these features throughout the site, it seems to be the logical next step. How would these features affect Brand pages on Facebook?
How Threaded Comments Would Affect Brand Pages
To enable threaded comments, Facebook would add a “reply” button next to the current “like” button on each individual comment. As it appears in the test, the reply button would only appear on comments left directly to the original post. It would not appear on subsequent replies to comments.
Threaded comments would add much needed organization to Facebook posts. As it is, comments are essentially individual responses back to the original poster. While commenters can (and do) refer to previous comments, there is no organization or structure to allow them to tie their comments together.
Not only could threaded comments make comments easier to read and follow, but they could also result in more engagement on interesting posts. Each new comment could potentially lead into several new conversations, broadening the invitation to people to comment.
Adding a reply option also means that page administrators can respond directly to individual comments. As it is now, admins my comment on their posts, but it is easy for the comments to get lost in the stream.
How Ranked Comments Would Affect Brand Pages
Adding even more organization to page posts, Facebook is also testing ranked comments. Each comment would be ranked based on the number of people who liked, replied, or hid their comments. Those with the most likes and comments and the least hides would appear at the top of the comment stream.
Ranked comments are not new to social media. Reddit has been very successful in their post ranking structure which involves users assigning a rank to each post by either up voting or down voting it.
This new feature could potentially result in higher engagement as it adds more value to their like. Rather than simply showing their support of a comment, the like could actually affect how many people see the comment.
The social network is testing these features on a few pages, but has not released any details regarding plans to roll out the features site wide. In my opinion, these features are long overdue. They would make it easier to sift through comments and would encourage higher engagement.
What are your thoughts? Do you think Facebook should enable these features throughout the site?