Some Facebook comment threads can become so massive that they take on a life of their own. With potentially thousands of commentators and multiple conversations taking place, keeping track of everything can get difficult. It’s part of the reason why the social media site is testing a new desktop feature that essentially turns these threads into traditional-style chat windows.
Over the last couple of months, some users have found Facebook is notifying them of comments that appear in their posts via a chat-like popup window instead of the standard comments page. The idea being that they can keep a watch on the threads without having to leave the newsfeed or switch between open tabs.
Speaking to TechCrunch, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed that the feature was being tested.
We’ve heard from people that they would like an easier way to participate in conversations on a post while they are still in News Feed so we are testing a new option that opens up a window when someone comments on your post, replies to your comment or tags you in a comment. You can always hide the conversation or turn off notifications from within the dropdown menu of the post.
While the windows could be helpful for users who enjoy engaging with a large number of followers, their constant appearance may get annoying. But, as the spokesperson points out, the notifications can be disabled.
Additionally, the windows won’t pop up on top of your Facebook feed when someone only comments on a post you’ve already commented on; instead, the message thread will appear minimized, giving you the option to expand or close it.
It’s worth remembering that this is only a test, so there’s no guarantee the feature will ever be rolled out to all users. But with Facebook looking at more ways of keeping people engaged on the platform for longer periods, there's a strong possibility it could make its way beyond the testing phase.
Screenshot courtesy of TechCrunch