We have news! Today we are announcing a change to how we display comments within long threads. We call it Collapsed Replies, and you may have already seen it either here on our blog or across sites that use Disqus.
Discussion threads are an opportunity for readers to share their unique perspectives, opinions, and feedback about articles and topics across their favorite websites. However, sometimes entire discussions turn into a series of replies to a single comment. With this update, in cases where a top-level comment has a long threads of replies, instead loading all replies by default, we use a “Show More Replies” prompt.
What Does This Mean For Me?
As with any change, our goal is to improve the experience on Disqus for both publishers and readers. Prior to rolling out this update across the network, we spent time testing the new experience to better understand how it impacts discussion. Through this testing, we found that by collapsing long sub-threads of replies, more overall readers choose participate in discussions. Because the collapsed experience exposes more unique viewpoints (more top-level comments), there are more opportunities for readers to both leave their own top-level comments and reply to several different opinions from others.
As part of this change, we collapse a thread when it has more than 6 total replies or more than 4 sub-threads (replies to replies). We started testing collapsed replies a couple months ago at low volumes. Over the coming weeks, we plan to gradually roll out the new experience network-wide. So, expect to see it soon, if you haven’t already. By early-mid April, Collapsed Replies will be the default experience on Disqus.
As always, we want to hear your feedback and ideas about this experience. Please let us know in the comments below 📝