WordPress.com blogs will now be able to sign in with their Facebook or Twitter accounts in order to leave comments. This is in addition, of course, to being able to comment anonymously (as a "Guest") or as a WordPress user.Visitors to
The new feature is intended to give users the flexibility to decide which identity they want to utilize for comments, even if they're logged in to WordPress via multiple accounts. You can, for example, be logged in via Facebook or WordPress but decide to leave your comments under your Twitter profile.
WordPress describes the process as something that "gives visitors control over which identity they can use." And no doubt questions over identity and anonymity (and online etiquette) continually plague blog comments - for both blog authors and for blog visitors. Will giving your blog visitors the option to link themselves to their "real" identities via Facebook improve the level of conversation? That's probably the hope - next to the desire for more engagement, of course.
It's worth pointing out here that what WordPress has implemented today isn't Facebook comments per se. Today's new feature is a matter of letting users choose the social profiles by which they comment, but it isn't a full integration. In other words, your WordPress comments aren't pushed back into your Facebook stream.
WordPress's Scott Berkun does say that better Facebook and Twitter integration features are coming soon.