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  • MaryGrace Lerin

Facebook Experiments with Showing Public Comments on Facebook Stories

Recently, a new feature seems to have been added to Facebook Stories.

As seen in this sample from @ohitsmerenz (and shared by Matt Navarra), Facebook appears to be testing a new option that would display Stories comments in the Story frame itself, adding a whole new method to interact with Stories material.

At the bottom of the first screenshot, you can see that the new format divides your answer options into two, with either a public 'Comment' prompt to make a comment that will be displayed on the frame, or a private 'Message' prompt for private replies. In the current Stories layout, there is only one 'Send message' form that takes up the whole area beside the Reactions. The remark stating 'Comments on this story are available to the public' can also be seen in the second screenshot.

This might have a variety of consequences. For one thing, if public comments are enabled, they may take up an additional portion of the screen, which may influence your framing in order to avoid placing a critical text or graphic element behind the visible reply.

Simultaneously, it may inspire new methods of interacting with Stories. By displaying how others have replied directly on screen, it may elicit even more reactions, pushing people to express their own ideas and opinions in response.

As a result, it may become a new interactive option, which could assist to strengthen community ties. It does, to some extent, depend on how the comments are displayed - for example, how many comments, if more than one, are shown on screen, and so on. However, it may be a new factor for your Stories approach. If, once again, it receives a wider release.

Because the feature is not generally available at the moment, it looks to be a restricted test. At present, Facebook is contacted for further information on the choice and the size of the test pool.

However, it may be a new consideration, especially if the same feature is given to Instagram Stories as well.

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