These days, commenters often want to include digital assets in their comments. LiveFyre gets that and has released the newest version of its comments platform, which it describes as “media-rich.”

Livefyre Comments 3 updates the real-time conversation platform that is used by such major publishers as the New York Times, CBS, National Geographic and MTV. Among other new features, links in comments can now be expanded to show embedded media players from partners, such as YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, SlideShare or SoundCloud.

Rich Text Editor, Notifier

Other new features include a Rich Text Editor so that commenters can express their passionate beliefs in bold, italics and underline, as well as in bulleted and numbered lists. A reason and a note can be added to flagging and, for a limited time window, comments can now be edited in-stream by either the author or the moderator.

A new Comment Notifier shows the number of new comments and comment previews, near the user’s avatar. Livefyre CEO and founder Jordan Kretchmer told news media that the notification feature will help to engage “readers who maybe aren’t looking at the comments.” He added that his favorite new feature is “when you’re reading an article, and someone types a new comment, it displays a little message on the page.”

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The company noted that the new feature should generate more commenting, especially since comment sections follow ads, suggested links and other features on a page, as well as page content.

Very Near Future

Facebook or Twitter friends and followers can now be tagged, and updates sent to Facebook timelines and @replies sent to Twitter can be edited. SocialSync comments, from either of those two social media services, now show up chronologically in-stream, along with threaded comments on-site.

The company also pointed to smaller file sizes in the new version, resulting in faster loading times and better performance from a new server and app architecture.

In fact, Kretchmer noted, the changes underneath the surface lay the groundwork for Livefyre’s next incarnation. “It’s the first application we’ve launched on top of our brand new platform architecture,” he said, which means that other new features built on this platform, besides real-time comments, will start appearing “in the very near future.”

Livefyre aggregates comments from around the web. The company points to several differentiators from other commenting systems, including the ability for publishing partners to own their own commenting community, and the ability to bring your friends from Facebook and Twitter into the conversation.