Mentioned on Mashable this week, Facebook has started testing threaded comments on the Web version of the social network. Rather than posting a replay at the end of a long string of comments, this allows Facebook users to directly reply to comments within a conversation that’s on a user’s Timeline page. Beside the Like button on individual comments, Facebook has placed a “Reply” link to open up a comment box. After the reply is submitted, a smaller version of the user’s profile picture will be positioned underneath the original comment. In addition, there’s another new link called “Write a Reply” that appears underneath the newly nested comment. Facebook has also added a “Hide Replies” button on the original post to allow users to hide that portion of the conversation.
In a statement released to Mashable, Facebook corporate communications manager Meredith Chin confirmed the testing process stating “We are testing a new way to add comments to a post on Facebook. Now you will be able to reply to another comment as well as the original post.”
Assuming nested replies works in conjunction with the notifications feature, Facebook users won’t have to tag someone’s name in the reply in order to get their attention. This will also be useful when conversations tend to veer off course from the original post or when brands need to specifically reach a fan. Threaded commenting has been a feature offered through Facebook’s comment plugin for third-party sites, but Facebook has yet to roll out the updated function on the site despite user requests for it. Facebook is currently testing threaded comments on a select group of profile pages, but users can see it in action on this Thai page.
Interestingly, the threaded comments feature currently doesn’t work on the mobile version of the social network quite yet according to ZConnection. Facebook users will simply see a chronologically stream of comments rather than the threaded version that appears on the Web version of the site. It’s possible that this could lead to confusion when replying to a comment within the mobile interface.
Detailed by Venturebeat, Facebook is also testing a new sound alerting a user that a notification has arrived. This feature is currently being tested on a select group of profiles and there’s no indication from Facebook representatives that the social network will roll out the feature to a wider group. This feature would be ideal for Facebook users that want to be alerted the second that they get a reply to a particular comment, but it could become annoying for someone that receives twenty or more notifications a day.
The good news is that Facebook has included an option to turn off the sound. If the notification sounds have been added to your profile during this testing phase, you can visit Account Settings and click on “Notifications” to manage the feature. Click the “View” link on the tab in order to reveal a checkbox for the sound notification feature. Check out the YouTube video below to hear the notification feature in action.