Facebook gets serious about conversations, experiments with new comment format for Pages

1601 Willow Road
Gaming execs: Join 180 select leaders from King, Glu, Rovio, Unity, Facebook, and more to plan your path to global domination in 2015. GamesBeat Summit is invite-only -- apply here. Ticket prices increase on March 6 Pacific!

In the interest of stimulating better conversations, Facebook is now pushing the most popular comments to the top of post threads on a small number of Facebook Pages. The test is running simultaneously with another that adds multiple conversation threads to comments.

“We are testing a new format for comments on Page posts. As part of this test the most engaging comments appear higher up,” a Facebook spokesperson told VentureBeat. “You will also be able to reply to individual comments as well as the original post.”

The new functionality, pictured below, pins the individual comments on Page posts with the most “likes” and comment replies, also in testing, to the top of conversation threads so that the buzziest comments are the most noticeable.

The threaded and curated approach to comment formatting is a significant improvement to the current cacophonous mess that is Facebook comments, where inane and asinine messages often drown out the best commentary on Facebook Page posts. The experimental comment format should help brands better identify the best or most pressing comments, find the fans with an active interest in their products, and bury more insipid remarks.

Facebook said the test is small and did not provide guidance on when or if the new Page comment format would roll out to all Page owners.

VentureBeat is studying social media marketing tools. Chime in, and we’ll share the data with you.