Facebook is building a “comments” system for web sites to use, sort of like Disqus and other similar plug-ins, CNet’s Caroline McCarthy reports.
This represents Facebook’s latest move to push its reach beyond Facebook.com and onto big media sites, including its “Like” button, and ubiquitous “share on Facebook” and “login with Facebook” tools.
The benefits are obvious: Besides convincing media companies to reply on Facebook for a key form of authentication and infrastructure, it will probably get people to “share” more stuff onto Facebook. And maybe the resulting discussions on Facebook could loop back onto the site, etc.
Anyway, seems like a solid idea, and if anyone’s infrastructure and reputation can handle it, Facebook’s can.
But McCarthy raises some good questions:
– How will Facebook, which doesn’t get along very well with Google or Twitter, offer “login with Google” or “login with Twitter” functionality?
– How will Facebook, which doesn’t like anonymous users, handle anonymous commenting, which fuels many/most of the comments on the web? Or is the idea to get rid of anonymous commenting altogether? (“Troll-slaying,” as TechCrunch’s MG Siegler is calling it.)
– Between the obvious Quora knockoff (Facebook Questions), the obvious Foursquare knockoff (Facebook Places), and this, can Facebook come up with anything on its own anymore? Or is just going to copy good startups? (This is not a terrible thing, but we would love to see Facebook invent something cool at some point.)