Facebook tests different formats for comments

The social network rolls out a test today that puts the most engaging comments higher up on threads, and lets users comment on comments.

Donna Tam Staff Writer / News
Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.
Donna Tam
After. Click to enlarge. Facebook
Before. Click to enlarge. Facebook

Facebook is trying out a couple new commenting features this week, including a reply button and a system that puts more engaging comments at the top of a thread.

The social network rolled out the comment thread test today to a small number of accounts, according to a Facebook spokesperson. The new format puts the comments that have more Likes or replies at the top of heap, adding to another, more fundamental change -- the ability to directly comment on other comments with the introduction of a reply button.

Facebook has been testing a reply button on comments that lets users reply to a specific comment in addition to the original post.

With the new reply feature, comments replying to the original post are shaded blue, while the comments replying to other comments are in white. It would make it easier to follow a conversation if your friends like to go off on tangents.

"This is just a small test at this stage," the spokesperson told CNET.

Facebook often tweaks its layouts and features, sometimes to the chagrin of its users who don't like change. If these new features stick, they could keep people on Facebook for longer by spotlighting the most popular content on a person's page.

A screenshot of the test layout is above. See if you like it better.