Facebook tests conversation threading in comments

NOTE: GrowthBeat -- VentureBeat's provocative new marketing-tech event -- is a week away! We've gathered the best and brightest to explore the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the full scoop here, and grab your tickets while they last.

Facebook is experimenting with a way to help its members branch off in multiple conversation threads, the social network confirmed to VentureBeat.

“We are testing a new way to add comments to a post on Facebook. With this test you will be able to reply to another comment as well as the original post,” a Facebook spokesperson said. “This is just a small test at this stage.”

Specifically, Facebook’s testing a “Reply” button that sits to the right of the “Like” button on comments posted to a member’s update (as pictured). The reply button allows commenters to start indented conversation threads off of comments. Facebook notifies members when another person replies to their comments, and also indicates how many comments are in the branched-off reply threads.

The threading feature is limited to one additional branch, meaning that members can comment on the new reply threads but they can’t reply again to branch off into even more threads.

VentureBeat first got wind of the test after a tipster emailed us a screenshot and link to the reply button in the wild, along with a link to a Thai blog that spotted the new button. Though Facebook says the test is small, the feature appears to be available to members in multiple countries.

We're studying digital marketing compensation: how much companies pay CMOs, CDOs, VPs of marketing, and more, with ChiefDigitalOfficer. Help us out by filling out the survey, and we'll share the results with you.