A Guided Tour Of COOL Comments

May 2024


The latest innovation in community-building, Insticator’s COOL Comments is revolutionizing the way users interact with content — and the way publishers get to know their audience. In this blog, we show you the ropes.

With an $81.5 million opening weekend kicking off what’s become a box-office juggernaut, Dune: Part Two is the sort of success story that has reignited an age-old conversation: how do you make a sequel that’s better than the original? It’s an important question — for every Empire Strikes Back proving a second installment can take your work to new heights, there’s an I Still Know What You Did Last Summer waiting in the wings to warn people about leaving well enough alone.

In the tech world, however, things are a little different: products and programs that don’t update wither and die. Windows XP was a solid piece of software, but people can’t keep using it forever for today’s modern applications. Evolution, adaptation, and growth are the name of the game.

That all being said, when everyone at Insticator got to work updating our flagship Insticator Commenting product for the next wave of the internet, we took the time and effort to make sure we’re giving users and publishers everything they want — and need.

In this post, we’re excited to take you on a guided tour of the new features and improvements that will make COOL Comments the must-have addition to your website.

Table of Contents

Case Study: Insticator outperformed the competition for Evolve Media right out of the gate — read more.


Insticator Commenting has always used gamification features to help enhance the user experience — encouraging users to build a profile and show off how involved they are in your online community. These features have been a massive driver of engagement and an important tool in the publisher’s arsenal.

A screenshot of our new user stats panel

For COOL Comments, our gamification features are expanding in a huge way, with more incentives for users to engage with the community, starting with our new “Kudos” point system. Users receive points for different actions such as posting a comment or reply, adding an emoji reaction to a comment, or receiving a reaction to their own comment.

Users have the ability to rank up to different status levels — from “Recruit” and “Rising Star” all the way up to “Legend” and “Hall of Famer” — based on the Kudos they accrue. This creates an incentive to keep engaging, and also a way for top users to show off.


On some comment boards, the conversation ends when the user clicks away from your site. But with the new notification features implemented in COOL Comments, there are a lot of exciting new ways to keep the conversation going. Now, real-time updates will show users when someone is typing up a reply, encouraging them to hang around to see what that response will be. But even if users do click away, those replies can still find them.

Now, replies trigger an email notification to the original poster, complete with a link that will take them right back to the comments. Instead of one-time visitors, a pitched debate or energetic conversation can draw the same users back again and again, giving them repeated opportunities to engage with your site’s content and see what you have to offer.

Technical Improvements

COOL Comments is packed with exciting new features, so you’d be forgiven for assuming that the technical demands on your system would be high. On the contrary: COOL is lighter, faster, and sleeker than ever.

For starters, integration is a snap, with a simple header-code installation to kick things off, and full product management via custom tooling to enable, disable, and place products on the page.

COOL Comments is 5x lighter than our legacy systems, with 70% faster load times, 200% faster Database searches, and 100% faster API response.  Our Core Web Vitals optimization is focused on minimizing the impact to your page speed and user experience — your page will load faster and smoother with COOL, compared both to our legacy system and to equivalent platforms.

As users transition to mobile devices, COOL Comments can follow them. Our focus on a mobile-first design language ensures easy readability, large calls-to-action, side scrollable filters, drawer like menus, and more, providing a native-app like experience for mobile-web users. The layout of our unit scales to fill or fit any space, no matter how wide or thin, ensuring that users on massive gaming rigs and users on old iPhones will be able to engage with your comments.

AI-Augmented Human Moderation

COOL Comments encourages more users to make more comments more frequently — which means a lot more comments to sift through and moderate. But Insticator has got you covered there, too.

Our dedicated team of human moderators work to ensure that all comments are brand-safe, according to whatever standards you choose to set for your website. Whether strict controls or lax, your guidelines are our guidelines. You don’t need to invest in moderators on your end (unless you want to), keeping your company lean enough to face whatever challenges come your way. Even better, in COOL Comments, our moderation can handle not just text but also visual content, ensuring that photos and memes will also be in compliance with your guidelines.

Supporting our human moderators is state-of-the-art AI moderation technology, quickly flagging comments for moderator review so that toxic comments don’t languish on your page. If commenters violate your guidelines, they can be put in the penalty box for a 24-hour “time out,” or incur longer penalties. You can even ban users forever in extreme cases at the IP level. No matter what standards you set for your audience, COOL can support it.

Emojis, GIFs, and More

COOL Comments has become more fun and colorful than ever before, allowing users to post emoji reactions, GIFs, embedded video content, and more. Static text has been replaced with lively messages as big and bold as your site deserves. 

Giving users more ways to express themselves will make them feel more at-home on your page, meaning more time on-site and even more engagement. But customization doesn’t end with the users: publishers get to customize their visual and color theme to align seamlessly with your own site design, so it will feel native to your page. You can further customize the features and options you implement on the page — if some particular content is poorly-suited to emoji reactions, for example, you can turn it off.

First-Party Data: The Cookieless Cure

Increased engagement means increased revenue, of course, but there’s more to it than that: COOL Comments empowers publishers to gather unprecedented amounts of first-party data, giving you the edge you need to make informed decisions in the cookieless world. 

As your users build their profiles, leave comments, and maneuver around your site, you’re collecting a wealth of information about their habits, location, behaviors, and more. This first-party data allows you to build a better profile of your audience, which in turn will help you as you continue to grow and monetize your site. Pairing great with Insticator’s other engagement tools like our Trivia & Polls and Content Recirculation tools, you’ve got a full arsenal to tackle the challenges and opportunities of the cookieless world.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, COOL Comments is creating a faster, better, more-entertaining way of building community on your site — and giving you the tools to thrive and monetize in the next phase of the Web.  In every way, this is a sequel that improves on the original.

If you’re interested in adding COOL Comments and its many features, you can get started today by reaching out to our team. With our team of experts ready to support you through the whole process, implementing the future of commenting is a lot easier than you might think.

Written by
Sean Kelly, Senior Content Writer

Sean Kelly is a Senior Content Specialist, St. Louis-based engagement expert with 20 years of experience in content writing, and 8 years in adtech.

Sean Kelly

Written by

Sean Kelly, Senior Content Writer