Facebook is apparently testing a revamped commenting platform. The new system comes with a number of big new features and has the potential to completely change the experience.
All Facebook managed to get a hold of a screen shot of the new comments platform in action and several changes are immediately noticeable.
More details about the commenter will be included, depending on what they've shared in their profile data. Along with their authors' names, comments will also include their location, the school they go to or company they work for.
This should make commenters more accountable, but also give more context to their comments.
One of the biggest changes is the introduction of threaded comments. The feature will completely change the way the conversation in the comments develops since users will be able to reply to any of them.
This can lead to a number of parallel discussions in the comments for the same status update, link or photo.
Another potentially very important feature is the possibility to vote on comments. This enables other users to rate how useful or relevant a particular comment is.
This leads to a couple of other features, feedback rating and comment count. Feedback rating, as the name implies, shows the number of positive votes versus negative ones. Comment count is rather self-explanatory.
All these features are apparently coming. Once they land, they should significantly improve the Facebook comments system.
Of course, for most people, the comments system doesn't really need improving. A status update or a photo rarely gets more than a few dozen comments, at best. What's more, you're probably going to know the people that are going to comment on your photo so ratings don't make much sense.
However, Facebook's aim with this was to revamp the system for Pages not for regular user profiles. Pages regularly get hundreds or even thousands of comments for a status update and since they are public, anyone can comment.
YouTube has been battling this issue for years and it's increasingly becoming a problem for Facebook as well. In fact, many of the features Facebook is testing are already available on YouTube, for example comment votes, and, of course, other sites.