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Update on Collapsed Replies

Posted by Mario Paganini on July 23, 2019 • ... comments

_Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations._ Steve Jobs (2)

Today, after careful consideration and much feedback from our commenter community and publishers, we disabled Collapsed Replies across Disqus and reverted to the original thread format. We initially released Collapsed Replies (a new way of displaying comments within long threads) in March. The intention was for it to be the new default experience on Disqus. However, after listening to feedback, we realized that the update, at this time, is not the appropriate default experience.

Collapsed Replies aimed to provide a better experience for active commenters, passive readers, and publishers. Our goals were to expose more viewpoints, make longer threads more digestible for readers, and ultimately increase participation and engagement.  Based on network-level data, both total engagements and unique commenters increased slightly with Collapsed Replies. However, after weighing these increases with a significant amount of valuable feedback from both publishers and commenters about their experiences with Collapsed Replies, we chose to revert to the original thread format.

There are opportunities to improve threading on Disqus and we’re open to feedback on refinements. In the future, we hope to provide new layout options that take into consideration the feedback we received over the last couple of months. This could include more control over when threads are collapsed, publisher and user level controls, and UI refinements to make a more seamless and friendly experience. As always, we’re open to and listening to your feedback. If you have thoughts on future improvements, please let us know.

As of today, the original thread experience is again the default across Disqus. If you’re a site owner and want to test Collapsed Replies further or use it on your site, please reach out to us directly.

Thank you to all of the publishers and commenters who shared positive and constructive feedback about this update. We sincerely appreciate your input as we continue to work to improve Disqus.

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