Thursday, 15 November 2012

Facebook Comments Vs Disqus

In one corner, weighing in at 600 million plus users is the social behemoth known as Facebook, a Jedi Master when it comes to all things social, but a novice when it comes to the commenting arena.

In the other corner is Disqus, weighing in at 35 million active users, and who currently sits as king of third party commenting systems.

Although there are other commenting systems such as Echo and IntenseDebate (the latter which is owned by Automattic), I’m coming across more sites and blogs adopting either Disqus or Facebook comments so for now I’ll focus on these two titans.

Since both services have advantages as well as disadvantages against each other, we’ve decided to put each through 7 rounds to see which service is more suitable for your site.


Threaded Comments

Both Disqus and Facebook offer bloggers threaded comments, which in today’s world is necessary in order to help organize conversations and prevent confusion from breaking out between discussions.
As a bonus, both offer multiple threaded conversations, allowing readers to reply to those replying to them (a feature Facebook comments recently adopted.
Disqus: 1, Facebook Comments: 1



The ability to add other users to the conversation is a killer feature that is lacking in most third party commenting systems.

Fortunately both Disqus and Facebook offer bloggers and webmasters the ability to contact friends or followers albeit using different methods.

Disqus allows readers to mention fellow Disqus users or tweeple (or twitter users) while Facebook only allows you to mention fellow Facebook friends or fan pages.

Although Facebook has more users, the @Mentions feature is only limited to your circle of friends while Disqus (who lacks Facebook access) allows you to contact any tweeter or Disqus buddy.
Disqus: 2, Facebook Comments: 1


Analytics On The Go

The social networking giant and the commenting king both provide analytics for bloggers and webmasters in order to help them understand just who is commenting and liking posts upon their blog.

While Disqus analytics provides in depth analysis of where your users are coming from, it’s offered as a premium service that starts at $19/month.

Facebook on the other hand offers their analytical services for free, although even if price were not an issue, the social giant is able to provide greater demographics  (such as age, gender and primary language).
Disqus: 2, Facebook Comments: 2


Spam/Troll Unfriendly

With commenting spam on the rise (both robotic and humans), many bloggers have had to rely upon the “wisdom of the crowds” to alert admins of intrusive comment ads as well as vote down annoying trolls.
Although Disqus does also allow users to utilize Akismet (on top of your commenting community), human spammers are not only still sneaking, but they are also sometimes engaging your readers within the discussion (note: by their links you shall know them).

Facebook on the other hand users their social graph to weed out the spammers as well as trolls with surprising effectiveness (as Facebook limits viewership of a spammer’s comment to their circle of friends).
Disqus: 2, Facebook Comments: 3


Multiple Logins

Both Facebook and Disqus allow users to comment using accounts from other services.
However Facebook only allows readers to login using their Facebook, Yahoo! or Microsoft Live (via Hotmail) account while Disqus not only matches Facebook, but also offers Twitter and Google as extra options.

Note: Facebook would add Twitter and Google if it were not for the fact that both companies refused to embrace the social giant due to “trust” issues.
Disqus: 3, Facebook Comments: 3



The ability to edit comments on your blog is priceless, especially when dealing with quality comments that may ere too much on the vulgar side (or post sensitive information that needs to be removed).

It’s also convenient to users who want to make minimum edits to their comments to correct grammatical errors or correct spelling mistakes.

Disqus gives both admins and readers the ability to edit comments, although Facebook only allows you to delete a comment, with no way to correct a simple spelling mistake or clarify your opinion on someone else’s site.
Disqus: 4, Facebook Comments: 3



Probably the most critical aspect of third party commenting systems is installation as messing up here will prevent one from utilizing them in the first place!

Disqus not only provides plugins, extensions and modules for self hosting fans, but also tutorials (with images!) for those using blog services like Tumblr, Blogger or even Squarespace.

Facebook on the other hand more or less leaves you in the dark, requiring third party tutorials from geeks or (if you’re lucky) an unofficial plugin.
Disqus: 5, Facebook Comments: 3


Who Do You Prefer?

Although I’m slightly biased towards Disqus (due to the fact they’re tweet friendly), other features may convince you to side with Facebook (especially if you’re a data geek who loathes spam).

For those of you out there who have chosen third party commenting systems, would you choose Facebook comments over Disqus? (or vice versa?) If so, why?


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