TechCrunch has gone through a number of commenting systems in its life. This includes WordPress’ default, Disqus and IntenseDebate. After a week with Facebook, they say that comment quality is improving while overall quantity is falling.
While we’re apprehensive about turning over comments to Facebook, the results thus far speak for themselves. Comments are, after all, where the conversation’s at. The less spam, the less trolling, the better.
Via MG Siegler:
Since we flipped the switch on for Facebook Comments last Tuesday morning, you’ve probably noticed that the overall number of comments have fallen dramatically. This is completely expected and definitely not a bad thing. Previously, many of our posts would get hundreds of comments (and sometimes more), but at least half of those would be of a quality best described as weak to poor. And of those, about half would be pure trollish nonsense.
Simply put: with the previous system, roughly half of the comments were more or less useless.
With the Facebook system, the most popular posts are only touching around 100 or so comments (obviously, the ones about the commenting system have more). But of those 50 to 100 comments, many of them are actually coherent thoughts in response to the post itself — you know, what a comment is supposed to be.
That’s not the case across the board, of course. We’re still seeing a lot of commenters talking about their hatred of the new commenting system. But those are easy to discount as we saw the same comments when we switched to Disqus, and InstenseDebate before that. It’s a symptom of change. Those comments will dissipate quickly, if we stick with Facebook.
Seems people think twice before commenting when their identities are known.