Facebook Adds Reverse Chronological Sorting to Comments Box Plugin, Now on 300,000 Sites

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By Josh Constine Comment

This afternoon Facebook announced two updates to its Comments Box plugin for third-party websites, along with the fact that 300,000 sites have integrated the plugin since its March 1st release. Users can select to sort comment reels by reverse chronological or chronological order as well as by Facebook’s “social ranking” algorithm. Reverse chronological sorting will help users when following comments in real-time is important, such as on sites discussing currently airing television shows or sporting events.

Facebook also confirmed the addition of the “Boost Comment” button we covered last week, which allows moderators to select certain comments to push to the top of a reel.

The Comments Plugin launched March 1st and had been integrated into 50,000 sites by mid-April. Today’s announcement of the 300,000 site milestone indicates adoption has accelerated in the last few months. This is a sign that the plugin has matured passed some initial concerns about bugginess and lack of features and is now a more viable comments solution with added distribution benefits.

Users can now click on a downward facing arrow when viewing the Comments Box plugin to reveal sorting options. They can use reverse chronological sorting to see the latest feedback to a post. Alternatively, they can sort by chronological order if initial responses to a blog post or content are what is most important to them. By default, users see the previously available social ranking sorting,  which causes comments with lots of Likes and replies from commenters with good reputations to rise to the top.

Facebook’s Director of Media Partnerships, Justin Osofsky notes in the announcement that “many partners have reported significant increases in referral traffic and engagement” from using the Comments Box plugin. Adoption may continue to accelerate as current implementations serve to raise awareness of the plugin.

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