Facebook test makes comments on page posts more like web plugin, including in-line replies and ranking algorithm

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By Brittany Darwell

Facebook has given us an update on its latest test for page post comments: in addition to a new option to reply to specific comments, the entire thread will be sorted by an algorithm to put the most engaging comments higher.

These changes make comments on page posts more similar to Facebook’s comments plugin for third-party sites, which have had threaded conversations and a ranking algorithm since March 2011. It makes sense to bring these features to page posts where there can be dozens or even thousands of comments, and users cannot tag and mention other fans they aren’t friends with. If Facebook rolls out these changes more widely, pages may see increased engagement on posts since high-quality comments will be surfaced up top and users will be notified when someone replies to their comment.

This current test sorts comments by Likes and replies, but it is not personalized for each user as it is with the comments plugin. With the plugin, Facebook will show comments from a user’s friend or friend of friend first. This would be useful for page comments as well, so we’ll see if it makes it into another iteration of the test.

Facebook says this new format is being tested for page posts only, not on users’ personal posts.