First announced in May, Facebook Connect ports your Facebook data to other sites—or, in other words, it’s a way to let visitors to your site comment with through their Facebook profiles. Facebook reported yesterday that over 6000 sites have signed on for Connect.
Facebook also announced its first offsite widget in conjunction with Facebook Connect: the Comments Box. To this point, Connect featured several plugins to extend its capabilities, but this is its first full widget.
The Comments Box is a great way for any website, blog or photo gallery to add social comments to their page in just a minute with a few lines of code.
So if you always wanted your website to look like your Wall, you’re in luck.
So far, not so impressive, right? It does get a little better:
With the Comments Box, Facebook users on your site can comment on your content, post those comments to their profiles, and share them with their friends on Facebook. The Comments Box allows non-Facebook users to make comments on your site as well. And via our APIs, you can access related comments made on Facebook as well to bring the conversation together.
I think the related comments on Facebook could be pretty cool. However, as a Facebook user, I’m really not that interested in having every comment I made on any blog/site/whatever show up on my profile (though I’m sure there will be a way to opt out of that, if not now then eventually )—and I’m not that interested in everything my friends say around the Internet either. And as a blog owner, I don’t know if I really want to display all of my readers’ friends’ responses to their comments (“LOL!” “Really?” “Srsly!”).
Many have been pretty disappointed in the first offsite offering from FB. The Comments Box seems to do almost exactly what Facebook Connect does, albeit with a few more bells and whistles. Also, if you have open commenting on your website or blog (ie you don’t require users to login to comment), there may not be any advantage to you to change your default commenting form out for Facebook’s, unless you really want to click through to your commenters’ FB profiles.
What do you think? Will you use the Comments Box on your site? Can you think of a site where it would be especially handy?