CNN Money Comments Now Exclusively Powered By Facebook Connect

Earlier yesterday while stumbling across an article on the CNN Money site, I noticed that the comments were now exclusively powered through Facebook Connect. While there are no signs that this will become a broader trend for all of CNN, this is definitely a major move for one of the worlds largest global news organizations. One interesting thing to note is that this is for articles that previously didn’t have an embedded commenting feature.

While CNN’s blogs are not currently powered by Facebook Connect, it’s a big shift for any section of CNN to add commenting to news articles which traditionally didn’t have any platform for discussion to take place. It’s also interesting that CNN, one of the largest media conglomerates in the world, is using Facebook Connect as the commenting platform of choice for one of their divisions and opting out of collecting names and email addresses.

Not having access to a user’s email is the primary downside of using Facebook Connect. While you can still send out emails through Facebook’s API, do you want to rely on Facebook as the backbone of your email marketing strategy? Perhaps email marketing is not one of the goals of media companies that are looking to offer commenting functionality to users. As many webmasters who have implemented Facebook Connect have noted, overall engagement levels on the site tend to increase as soon as Connect features are enabled.

Whether it’s the user staying on the site longer or more people commenting, leveraging Facebook Connect clearly has benefits. Perhaps that’s why CNN Money has chosen to make their commenting exclusively powered by Facebook Connect. Whatever the rationale, this is a significant statement by CNN, and it reflects positively upon Facebook who has built a tight relationship with the massive news conglomerate.

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