Disqus, a popular online discussion and commenting service for websites, is revealing a series of updates to make online discussion a more social experience.
The tool’s new Discovery module is a box that recommends other articles on the site based on the article being read, as well as the comments that have been posted and individual’s reading history. The idea is to connect commenters with more content and to garner more pageviews for publishers.
The group of updates also includes faster load time and a streamlined social sharing process. Currently, users can only upvote others’ comments, but the updates will add a thumbs down option to drive spammy or fluffy comments to the bottom of the feed.
Disqus CEO and co-founder Daniel Ha told Techcrunch that with these updates, he sees opportunities for monetization in the future, such as sponsored content recommendations.
Facebook Comments recently released a similar “You Might Also Like” popup box, seen below.
Disqus updates are only in beta version at this point, but there are some early criticisms of the service, especially when compared to the Facebook alternative.
- With Disqus, users only see suggestions when they reach the bottom of the entire comment feed which, depending on the blog, can mean scrolling through quite a bit of banter. The Facebook option pops up in the lower righthand corner of the browser, no matter where users are on the page.
- Facebook’s preview box includes a thumbnail from the article as well as the number of likes while Disqus shows a commenter avatar and a snippet of their comment, which may or may not be relevant to the content.
- Finally, it’s no surprise that Facebook is the more social option – the abilitiy to “like” the article and turn on social reading will push this content to Facebook itself.
We are nonetheless excited to give the new Disqus a go, as are many of the web’s diehard Disqus users. As of this writing, the Disqus website reported 78,140,280 users and 1,477,215 sites using Disqus. Not too shabby.
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