Breaking: Facebook Taking on FriendFeed, Launching Mini-Feed Comments

Facebook has just announced that comments will be added to mini-feed momentarily. Here are the details that Facebook provided me with:

What is changing?
Users will be able to comment on content right in-line within their friends’ Mini-Feed. For instance, rather than having to click through to a friend’s videos that have just been uploaded, users can comment directly from their friend’s profile page.

What made you decide to add comments in Mini-Feed?.
We aim to help users share information and communicate more easily, which sometimes entails having a conversation around a piece of content or an action. We already have comments for photos, videos, and posted items, but we realized there is much more content users want to comment on for example, status messages.

Are you going to be adding comments in News Feed?
We are always iterating on the product and evaluating what will provide the best user experience. We will consider adding comments in News Feed if it makes sense for our users.

Did you model this after other products in the industry?
We are constantly iterating on our product to help users share information and communicate more efficiently. Adding comments in Mini-Feed is functionality we’ve been hoping to implement for some time.

What if people don’t want their comments displayed in other people’s Feeds?
All normal privacy settings apply with commenting on content in Mini-Feed. If you are not friends with the person who owns the content, you cannot comment on it. Also, if a friend comments on something in your Mini-Feed and you want to delete it, you can do so in-line.

How will this change with the new design?
You will still be able to comment on Mini-Feed stories in the new profile design.

How many comments will display under each story?
Under each story there will be up to 8 comments with the option to show more.

What types of stories can be commented on?
Users will be able to comment on their friends’ status messages, uploaded content such as photos, videos or posted items, and stories generated by third party applications. They will also be able to comment on posted items and videos inline, without leaving the profile page.

This new service is a clear move against FriendFeed who has enabled comments on all user activities. While the comments have not been added to the main newsfeed, it’s awesome to see that Facebook is listening to its users. Facebook currently lets users import their activities from 12 sources but they have said that the number of sources will expand in the near future. The only remaining problem that I see is that most of these features are not mobile accessible.

Mobile accessibility is one of the core reasons that people like Robert Scoble are so active on FriendFeed. When people are on the go, they want to communicate with their friends and commenting on mini-feeds is not possible with most phones.

Here is a screenshot of the mini-feed comments in action:

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