Why shouldn’t users who frequently leave comments be able to share their profiles between sites? Discussion platform provider Disqus believes they should be able to, and is releasing a new feature called AudienceSync for that purpose.

The company said users of standalone commenting systems frequently complain about having to create a new profile for each site. The San Francisco-based company said AudienceSync follows the carry-your-identity-with-you approach offered by Facebook and others, and that it is the first Web discussion platform to do so. Disqus users can participate in discussions on other websites with their Disqus identity, and publishers can have what the company called “a transparent, low friction way” to manage membership systems.

Other Side of Disqus SSO

Disqus’ platform is currently used on more than 2.5 million websites, has more than 100 million commenter profiles, and reaches over a billion monthly visitors. The latter figure, though, could include users reading an article with accompanying comments, even if that user never reads the comments.


Disqus Network Growth

The company said that AudienceSync is the “flip side” of its long-standing Disqus Single Sign-On, where users registered on a site can automatically sign into the Disqus commenting system. With AudienceSync, registered users can grant publishers access to their Disqus account information via a single click. That account information can include name and basic bio information. Publishers can then set up their own user flow, such as using the account information to create a site-specific profile or automatically signing a user up for a newsletter, as part of an opt-in sequence.

VP of Marketing and Communications Steve Roy told news media that AudienceSync removes the “false choice” that publishers might feel they have to make, between using Disqus’ platform or controlling their own registration data.

CRM for Commenters?

Disqus is comparing AudienceSync to a “CRM-based approach to audience development,” largely because it allows publishers to build relationships with commenting users. AudienceSync, built on the standard Web protocol OAuth, is designed to be compatible with such third party user management systems as Janrain, as well as with custom in-house systems.

Late last month, Disqus introduced Gravity, a visualization of trending discussions on websites that use the platform. The visualization showed discussions grouped as categories, representing discussions that are spiking in volume as larger or smaller circles in a field of circles. Users can grab or drag circles and zoom into subjects.