Are WordPress comments dying?

I think they are, lets have a discussion about this.

What I’m Seeing

I’m getting fewer and fewer comments on my blog posts.  I’m not suggesting I’m the greatest writer, generating thoughtful work that the whole internet wants to engage with, but I can see that I’m getting fewer comments on each post I publish.

Personally I am not leaving any comments on blog posts anymore.

Spam is going down.  I am seeing a trend on my comment spam that shows attempts to leave comments on my site that are spammy.  Here is a six month graph from Akismet,

RIP wordpress comments

click for full size image

People are installing plugins to move comments away from their sites into the wider social sphere such as this one https://wordpress.org/plugins/comments-from-facebook/, or the are moving to centralised commenting systems such as Disqus.

This is not a scientific study, but I’ve just visited Problogger, one of the most popular blogging sites out there and a post from the 4th (2 days ago at the time of writing) has zero comments, and other posts have less than 10 comments, in the past each post on Problogger would receive hundreds of comments.

Why I Think This Is Happening

People are still distributing great content they like, and sharing it with their circle, but they are sharing and discussing from social media hubs such as Facebook or twitter.  The distribution hub has also become the discussion hub in my opinion.  They will click through read your content and return to the distribution channel to comment.

Dude! People need to keep their social feeds current, they need to be adding more content into the howling storm of the internet,why would they leave a comment on your backwater of the internet when they could leave a comment on their social media site of choice and build their own profile (please like my post).  Who is going to see their insightful thoughts on your site, 🙂

My previous statement is a little tongue in cheek, but I do think people want their discussion to be seen more widely, where will this happen on social or at your site?

Comment links are no follow so there is no benefit SEO wise for leaving comments.

Comments were often used as a method to engage with the author, but this can be done on social more effectively.

Wrap Up – R.I.P. WordPress Comments

I think comments have moved to the distribution channel not the source.  I don’t think this is a bad thing, as long as discussion is happening does it really matter where is it hosted?

What do you think? These are only my opinions,

<irony>Let me know in the comments</irony> or the social platform of your choice @nmatthews on twitter, or on Facebook.

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Photo Credit: benekliz Flickr via Compfight cc