At the core of any social media strategy is building an engaging community. As community managers, this can be done in a variety of ways, but one popular option is through Facebook Pages. With that in mind, the social network is rolling out a commenting system, which it has been testing since November, that includes threaded comments and a new ranking algorithm.

Threaded comments have been a feature of Facebook’s comment plugin, but haven’t been made available on the social network outside of testing. Starting next week that’ll change and the new comment system will be available on an opt-in basis for all accounts with more than 10,000 fans or followers.

As we mentioned in a previous article, response time is critical. If you experience a lot of discussion around your Facebook posts, threaded comments will ensure that no reply goes unnoticed, as the original poster will be notified of your response. This is especially beneficial for brands that use Facebook for customer support.

The updated ranking algorithm is meant to put the most relevant and high quality comments first. Currently comments are arranged in chronological order and are in no way influenced by popularity or personalization. Moving forward, the new system will take into account positive signals (such as Likes and comments), negative signals (minimal engagement), and connections.

Through the latter, conversations around your content will be personalized so fans might see comments from people they know first. This could help increase engagement further, as the fan might be more willing to interact with friends. Overall, it’ll allow for easier management of conversations around your posts, especially for your fans.

The opt-in period, which begins on Monday, March 25th, will only last a few months, as Facebook intends to push the new system to everyone in July. There’s no word on when the new commenting system will be supported on mobile. It’s also worth noting that personal accounts will not receive this functionality; only Pages and Profiles with more than 10,000 fans or followers will be included.

[Via: Inside Facebook, TechCrunch, Image credit: Jason Paris]