Facebook to roll out threaded, ranked comments for pages and public figures

Facebook will further roll out a commenting system that it has been testing, which includes threaded conversations and a ranking algorithm meant to put the most relevant and high quality comments first, a spokesperson tells us.

The new comments for pages and users who have enabled “follow,” have been in testing since November, and starting next week will be available on an opt-in basis for all accounts with more than 10,000 fans or followers.

Key features of the new comments are the option to reply to a specific comment and a ranking system that takes into account positive signals, such as likes and comments; negative signals, such as not getting much engagement; and connections, meaning the ranking is personalized for each user so that, for example, comments from people they might know appear first.

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. On posts by pages and public figures, there can be dozens or even thousands of comments, and users cannot tag and mention other fans they aren’t friends with. The new system could improve engagement on these posts since high-quality comments will be surfaced up top and users will be notified when someone replies to their comment. Admins can also down-rank posts without deleting them.

“We think this update will allow for easier management of conversations around posts, which is a better experience for people interacting with pages and public figure profiles,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

The new comments are not yet available for mobile or via the API

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