Facebook, as part of its Facebook Connect project, now finally has its first in-house app: the Comments Box, a widget that lets publishers embed a Facebook-style comments module on their site. Visitors can then post comments that link back to their Facebook profiles — which could ultimately net the publisher more traffic, since other Facebook users that see the comments might want to check out the article. The app’s API lets publishers follow the conversation as it plays out on Facebook.
Why would Facebook wait this long to release something so similar to existing comment-based apps like Disqus and JS-Kit? Facebook acknowledges in its blog post about the Comments Box that these other players offer fine services. But perhaps this also has something to do with it: With every new app it launches on its own, Facebook crowds out other widget-based startups, and helps siphon their revenue streams.