As part of its broader push to win over more creators, Facebook has today announced a new set of comment moderation and support tools to help creators maximize their use of its platform.
And also, a big one for regular users – a new live chat option for those locked out of their accounts.
Here’s what’s been announced.
For creators, managing your community engagement is a key element in maximizing response, and that can be derailed, or distracted by spam comments and the like. This is why Facebook’s adding some new tools to help manage your post comments.
The main change is a new, simplified option to hide comments in-stream, which social media expert Matt Navarra spotted in testing recently.
To be clear, business Pages on desktop have been able to hide comments for some time, but creator Pages have not, and the feature hasn’t been available till now in the new Pages experience (which is why it may have disappeared from your Page).
When you hide a comment, it’s then only visible to the commentor and their connections, while Page admins can view all hidden comments on any post by selecting ‘Hidden by this Page’ in the comments drop-down on any post.
Facebook’s also adding more blocking controls to ensure that you can block problematic users, along with any future accounts that they create, new keyword blocking options, including the capability to automatically hide comments with variations of words that use numbers, symbols, or different spellings, while it’s also testing new Moderation Assist for groups, which automatically moderates comments on your posts based on your criteria and terms (i.e. no comments with links/images, in addition to keywords).
On Facebook Live specifically, Facebook’s also adding additional profanity blocking tools, user suspension/banning controls and enhanced comment controls.
“We’re also about to kick off a test for Facebook Live community moderation so creators can designate a specific viewer to moderate comments on their behalf.”
But the real news of the day is likely the addition of live chat assistance for certain issues.
As explained by Facebook:
“We’ve begun a small test to provide support through live chat for English-speaking creators in the United States who do not already have an assigned relationship manager from Meta to help with questions they might have about Facebook or Instagram. Creators can access a dedicated creator support site when logged in through Facebook. There, they can chat live with a support agent for help on various issues ranging from status of a pay-out to questions about a new feature like Reels.”
So creators get dedicated, in-person support – but what about regular users?
“On the Facebook App specifically, we’ve also started testing live chat help for some English-speaking users globally, including creators, who’ve been locked out of their accounts.”
It’s worth noting that this is only for users that have been locked out of their accounts, but this is one of the most common frustrations reported by Facebook users, with the inability to communicate with an actual person, or even send an email to a contact address, causing significant angst for those who feel that they’ve been unfairly locked out of its apps.
We’ll have to wait and see how effective this new process is, and whether it actually helps to resolve such issues (many people are legitimately locked out, even if they’re not entirely sure why), but it’s an interesting test, which could help Facebook address a major bugbear among users.
Finally, Facebook’s also piloting a new ‘Safety School’ initiative to help provide users with more info on how to manage the time they spend in its apps.
“In this pilot, we cover policies, resources, and specifically the tools available around account security, impersonation and bullying and harassment. So far, we’ve connected with creators in more than 27 countries around this material, and we will be expanding this program and resources to more creators in the next year.”
Digital literacy is a key gap in our current educational curriculum, and while many teachers and schools are seeking to fulfill this need, and the platforms themselves do have various initiatives in place, it remains a key need that needs more focus.
As such, it’s good to see Facebook looking to push the agenda itself, and hopefully, it can prompt more users to undertake such courses and info sessions.
As noted, these are the latest elements in Facebook’s broader push to win over creators, and get them posting to Facebook and Instagram more over the holiday period and beyond. The extension of that push is its effort to win back young users, mostly from TikTok, and if it can build a more equitable, beneficial and positive environment for creators, many of them may well consider their options, and could bring their audiences across to Facebook instead.
Maybe. There’s a lot to play out yet, but Facebook will be hoping that these new options spark more interest over the holiday break, while its enhanced monetization and reach could also prove to be a strong lure.