I received an email regarding an issue a customer was having with the Facebook comments plugin. He was using one of my WordPress themes, so I was confused why he was even bothering with a Facebook commenting plugin – WordPress has a fantastic commenting system already, right?
Here was his response:
“Facebook has a much greater multiplier effect. Today, 90% of the hits on my site is from Facebook. I also paid for an announcement and the result was very good.”
At face value, it seems obvious that visitors would be more inclined to comment if they don’t have to fill out their information. If they’re logged into Facebook, all they have to do is comment about it and that’s it. For some, there is the added benefit that their comment will appear on Facebook for others to see (if not, you can uncheck a box to prevent this).
The biggest downside I can think of is that visitors have to have a Facebook account to interact with your site. Obviously there are a lot of people on Facebook, but depending on your business or industry, this may be an issue.
Other potential problems are controlling spam, moderating comments and getting notified of comments. For me, I have an email alert setup through WordPress when I get new comments. As much as I can tell, I don’t see a good way to get notified about comments done via the Facebook plugin. For me personally, this could be a deal breaker.
Giving it a Try
On my personal website, I don’t really depend on the number of comments I get to determine how successful my site is, but it would be fun if visitors got more engaged with my content and were more inclined to leave a comment.
Without completely abandoning the WP commenting ship, I decided to have a test run and see if this claim is true. I’ll be the first to admit that my site isn’t the best testing ground – I don’t get that many comments – but I thought it would at least be something fun to try out.
For the trial run, I’m going to have two commenting options. Visitors can either leave a comment in the Facebook box or use the traditional WordPress commenting option. Where they leave your comment will communicate to me which one you prefer.
I don’t want to post a link to my blog, however, so feel free to voice your opinion here…