Facebook is planning to launch a third-party commenting system in a matter of weeks, according to multiple sources familiar with the new product. This new technology could see Facebook as the engine behind the comments system on many high-profile blogs and other digital publications very soon.
The company is actively seeking major media companies and blogs to partner with it for its launch, part of a bigger media industry move spearheaded in part by the recent hires of Nick Grudin and Andy Mitchell, media business development executives with respective track records at Newsweek and The Daily Beast.
Representatives from Facebook were not immediately available for comment.
Facebook, of course, is already very present in blog comments. Currently, a digital publishing outlet–say, a blog or a newspaper’s Web site–can integrate Facebook’s developer API and allow users to “connect” to their Facebook accounts, or can build in “Social Comments” in a widget of related messages. Often, users can post alerts on their Facebook walls announcing that they’ve commented, or can have a “Social Comment” turned into a status message. The new commenting product is a significantly deeper expansion of this, according to sources. Facebook will be able to power the entire commenting system–handling the log-in and publishing, cross-promoting comments on individuals’ Facebook walls, and possibly even promoting them as well on media outlets’ own “fan” pages. Undoubtedly, the Facebook “like” button will be deeply integrated as well.