Traverse Facebook Comments by Time

I have written a bookmarklet that facilitates traversing all Facebook comments for a given post in time order. This applies to the full version of the Facebook website.

To install the bookmarklet, click here to bring up a page with the bookmarklet in it, along with some simple instructions.

Also see my Expand All bookmarklet.

Things you must know

To use this bookmarklet, you must have a single post isolated to a browser tab or window. To do this, ctrl-click on the timestamp of the post you are interested in.

Next, you most likely will need to run my “Expand All” bookmarklet to expand all comments and replies. The only comments linked are the comments you can see at the time. By the way, this links comments and replies.

Finally, when you run this “Link Comments” bookmarklet, it will jump to and highlight the last comment made on the post. (If you don’t see a highlighted comment, something went wrong.) To traverse, use the keyboard:

  • Ctrl+up: jump to previous comment (if any).
  • Ctrl+down: jump to next comment (if any).
  • Ctrl+home: jump to first comment.
  • Ctrl+end: jump to last comment.
  • ESC: detach this bookmarklet from the page.
  • Mouse click on a comment: highlight and make that comment the current comment.
    • Ctrl+click: shade all comments newer than the one clicked.

It’s not recommended, but you can also traverse the comments using the mouse by clicking on the older/newer links generated by the bookmarklet.

What does this [not] help with?

This solves a need I had; maybe others will find it useful. Let me describe an example scenario I wrote this for:

  • I care about the post, who comments, and what they say. (Not worthless comment bait, or something posted by a public figure with tons of throw-away comments I don’t care about.)
  • I’ve been following the post but am losing track of all the comment threads emerging like tentacles. I don’t want to read from the beginning each time; I just want to see what’s new.

Let me emphasize: if you are freshly coming to a post with many tentacles, you’ll want to read the post in branch-sequence (i.e., how Facebook presents it to you), not time-sequence. It’s only when you’ve watched comments unfold that time-sequence makes any sense, and that’s what this bookmarklet is intended to help with.