Facebook Tests Public Comments Display on Facebook Stories

What’s this? A comment appearing on a Facebook Story?

As you can see in this example, posted by @ohitsmerenz (and shared by Matt Navarra), Facebook appears to be testing a new option which would display Stories replies on the Story frame itself, adding a whole new way to engage with Stories content.

You can see, at the bottom of the first screenshot, that the new format splits your response options into two, with either a public ‘Comment’ to leave a remark that would be shown on the frame, or a ‘Message’ prompt for private replies. In the current Stories layout, there’s only a single ‘Send message’ field which takes up that whole area beside the Reactions. You can see, too, in the second screenshot, the note that ‘Comments on this story are visible to the public’. 

That could have a range of potential implications. For one, public comments could, if rolled out, take up an extra part of the screen, which could play a role in your framing in order to ensure that you don’t end up putting a key text or visual element behind the displayed reply.

At the same time, it could also spark new ways of engaging with Stories. By showing you how others have responded, direct on screen, that could trigger even more reactions, prompting others to share their own thoughts and responses in step.

That could make it a new engagement option, which could help to solidify community connection. It does, to some degree, depend on how, exactly the comments are displayed – like how many comments, if more than one, are shown on screen, etc. But it could be a new consideration for your Stories process. If, again, it does end up getting a broader release.

At present, the functionality is no widely available, so it appears to be a limited test. We’ve asked Facebook for further comment on the option, and how wide the test pool is, and we’ll update this post with their response if/when we hear.

But it could be a new consideration, especially if the same functionality is also extended to Instagram Stories too.

We’ll keep you updated on any progress.

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