Facebook on Feb. 19 launched Comments Box, the first social widget for its Facebook Connect application.
Facebook Connect allows users to sign on to other sites and blogs using their Facebook account information. Comments Box would allow these users to post comments on not only the outside Web site, but also their Facebook profiles, where they could be shared with other subscribers.
The widget will be customizable, allowing developers to specify background and text color and moderate comments.
According to Facebook, Comments Box fulfills a demonstrated need on the part of users.
"One of the most common features we've seen sites add with Facebook Connect is the ability to allow users to log in with a single click and comment with their real name and profile photo from their Facebook account," Ray He, a Facebook engineer, wrote on the Facebook Developers blog Feb. 19. "Sites have seen as much as [40 to 50 percent] more comments since they ... added these features."
Some 6,000 developers have utilized Facebook Connect for their Web sites. In recent months, Facebook has increasingly opened itself to tinkering. On Feb. 9, Facebook announced new APIs for Facebook Platform that allowed developers to access content and methods for sharing for Facebook Status, Notes, Links and Video.
The Comments Box announcement caps a relatively tough week for the social networking giant: Facebook wrestled with an enormous subscriber backlash after changing its Terms of Service to state that it owned any content uploaded to the site, even after subscribers have closed their accounts. Facebook quickly retreated to the previous version of its TOS.