Insticator Creates the Future of Commenting with 2.0 Update

January 2022



#first party data

Without a doubt, commenting is prevalent online. Social media is built and grows around the idea that people love to share their opinions, thoughts, and lives with friends and total strangers. It was not long after the invention of commenting online that businesses realized that commenting serves two goals: increase time on site (engagement/revenue) and gain insight into the audience (data).

The reality is that online commenting across the web is stuck in 2010 with cluttered UX (user experience) that distracts users from engaging and reactions that are outside of measurement. 

Consider the current situation:

– Hundreds of emoji options that do not equal actual 1:1 data points for article segmentation and commenting.

– Large avatars overpowering commenting.

– Complex thread navigation and interaction.

– Inability to customize commenting and article sentiment emojis to reflect the publisher brand.

– Clutter that distracts users from registering and engagement actions.

Standardized reactions and sentiment, a real focus on comments, access to community engagement, and insights into which community members are interacting are paramount for this update.

Commenting or UX? The Answer is Both!

Let’s face it – everyone likes a good before/after picture! So, let’s walk through the commenting updates. Although publishers do not need to change the codes on their pages or site, there are some fancy new customizations.

Commenting UX Changes

If you are accustomed to seeing a string of avatars with a number of comments, this is going away. When hundreds of people comment on a post, these avatars are not informative and only get in the way of what you really want people to do – engage.

Additionally, to decrease trolling and negative interactions that impact overall engagement, the user name replying to a comment is not visible in the update. This allows more conversation with fewer pointed replies directed at a single individual. People can comment without concern about targeted replies. 

When users are not logged in, a message shows up at the top of the comment box prompting them to sign in. The button changes to prompt the user to sign in to comment. These changes increase sign-up for new users and notify returning users that they must sign in.

Avatars Alterations

Our goal is to show the engagement for each community member including their top comment over the past week. By decreasing the size of the avatar by ⅓, we spotlight the commenting section. Avatars to the left of the comment bar and avatars for those actively responding are going away. 

To avoid confusion, the comments tab will not show up if the publisher does not have the community tab activated. When a user has both the Comments and Trending tabs enabled as a toggle, they will be together so it looks like a toggle. The ability to sort by “my comments” brings all ROOT comments (not replies) to the top of the sort and will be sorted chronologically. 

Engagement Game Changers

When there are no comments on an article, the new commenting updates include messaging to encourage users to “share your thoughts.” An empty thread can be intimidating to users, so adding a prompt to encourage users to comment increases opportunities for engagement.

Each comment includes a total number of replies next to it. The three dots to the right of the total number of replies shows that someone is actively commenting on the thread. This allows users to easily identify the most active conversations and engage in those discussions. 

The text formatting includes additional media functions such as video, gifs, and images available when the user clicks the arrow to expand the menu. Only text formatting tools are shown by default.

1:1 Data Standardization

The changes and customization to emojis are the most noticeable for publishers and users. By limiting the choices for emojis to 8 distinctive reactions for commenting and article sentiment, publishers get data that matches 1:1 with user feelings. Default emojis that users can choose from are Like, Downvote, Love Funny, Sad, Angry, Curious, and Insightful. As the user hovers over an emoji, it raises and shows the name of the emoji.

Publishers can configure which emojis they want to show to users. The minimum is 2 emojis and the sentiment names cannot be changed. Historical emojis are mapped to the new emojis. We keep the continuity of previous reactions so the threads and the community sentiment remain for historical threads

Emoji Experience & Customization

For all comments, there is a “react” icon allowing users to hover to show the eight available emojis. When a user clicks on an emoji, they see what emoji they selected so they know that their reaction is recorded.

To the right of the comment, users see the top 3 emojis for that comment and how many total reactions it has received. This allows users to get a general idea of the way others feel about the comment and encourage them to share their feelings.

If users click on the number of emoji reactions to drill down, they see a breakdown of all emojis and how many votes they each had including percent of the total. This gives users an overview of community reactions to the comment and lets commenters see who reacted to their comments.

The big news is emoji customization! 

All emoji configurations apply to BOTH Article Sentiment and commenting reactions to give publishers standardized data. 

All eight emojis are the default for publishers, but you can go into the Publisher Portal to mix and match. Publishers need to pick at least two emojis because there is no way to disable emojis for commenting customers. Customization allows publishers to find the data they need about comments and article sentiment using the visuals of their choice.

These are 4 different sets of emojis (all can be mixed and matched):

  • 3D color
  • 2D color
  • 3D black & white
  • 2D black & white

Ready to configure your emojis? 

Go into Publisher Portal 2.0 and click on Trends & Reactions > Configuration > Emojis. 

Have fun customizing your user experience with the perfect emojis for your site.

Commenting 2.0 Round-Up – What you need to know!

The goal of commenting 2.0 is to standardize data points, streamline the user experience, and increase engagement. The changes that publishers see in the coming update at the end of the month revolve around commenting UX, avatars, engagement enhancers, data standardization, and emoji customization. 

Now is the time to start exploring these new features! 

Want a detailed walkthrough of the Commenting 2.0 updates?

Schedule a chat with an account manager.

Updated Commenting: Customization wo Sacrificing Data or UX

Content Writer

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Content Writer