Facebook has been saying that they intend to become a platform that everyone leverages and not just a website that people like to go to. There most recognizable move in this direction to date is the release of their “Like” button across the web which has now come all but a standard across every major website including this one. Now it seems that Facebook is looking to launch a third-party commenting system within a few weeks according to several sources familiar with the new initiative. Apparently, this solution would see Facebook as the engine that powers the comments system of some of the most high-profile blogs and digital publications relatively soon. The company is reportedly in talks with several major media companies and blogs to partner with for the launch of the new system.
As usual, Facebook has no comment. Facebook is definitely making moves to expand their tentacles into almost every aspect of the web and this stays in line with that. Through allowing developers to access tons of their API’s, Facebook is already a huge part of the social scene on many websites through plugins and such. This new product though intends to take that integration much deeper by allowing Facebook to power the websites entire commenting system, everything from the logging-in and publishing to cross promoting comments on user’s Facebook walls and even possibly promoting them on the fan pages of different media outlets.
Other information about the new commenting system suggest that it may also allow people to login with Google, Yahoo or even Twitter ID’s if a publisher allows it. This one seems less likely as Facebook has been at odds with the dev arms of both Google and Twitter over the past several years and has blocked several products by those two companies that attempted to leverage Facebook data. The bigger thing there though that might make this possible is that publisher want commenters and they don’t really care what they use to sign in. Another big question that is as of yet unanswered is how Facebook would handle identities as Facebook likes to insist that people use their real identities while most commenting systems use handles that allow users to be anonymous which is good and bad depending on how you look at it.
This also has some real ramifications for current popular commenting systems like Disqus and Echo. If Facebook makes this thing easy to implement it could be a wrap for those companies because when you have the possibility of reaching 500 million users, why wouldn’t you? What do you think, would you run a Facebook commenting system on your website? For me, I’m not sure but if they made it as clean and responsive as their “Like” button then it would be hard to ignore.