Since its launch in 2007, Disqus has cemented its place as one of the more popular means for web publishers to incorporate a networked commenting system to their websites, blogs and social networks. With its 2012 update, Disqus is upping the ante, with a discovery platform that lets users find related content from other publishers that use the service.

More than just comments

Reaching 300 million people per month, and with 1.3 million registered communities, Disqus is now transforming into something more than just a commenting system. With its 2012 update, Disqus has been revamped with an improved user experience and enhanced interaction through auto-discovery.

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More than just a commenting system, Disqus' latest update offers discovery, which helps drive traffic across different websites that use Disqus.

Disqus CEO Daniel Ha says the upgrade is a "full re-imagining of the core Disqus experience for both sites and commenters." Here are a few highlights.

Improved UI

Disqus 2012 offers a revamped user experience, with a clutter-free design. However, the user experience is not just skin-deep. Disqus is now fully real-time, and based on a "completely new architecture." Conversations will stream in live, and get updates by the second. Votes will update in real time, and participants can see when other participants are keying in a reply.

Improved Voting System

Comments can make or break the quality of discussions on a website. With this in mind, Disqus has implemented a new reputation-based algorithm, so that site administrators will have less work to do in moderating because communities will be empowered with self-moderation. There will be a balance, though, between popular comments and less popular ones, which won't necessarily be silenced.

Content Discovery

Disqus is "helping people explore new discussions and stories," which means websites get more quality traffic from related sites that use Disqus. Discovery isn't a single feature, Ha says. Rather, it's a theme that's "tightly woven into the core experience" of the service.

Personalized and Social

The new My Disqus feature offers an easy-to-access view of a user's conversations regardless of the website being visited (as long as it uses Disqus, too). This also includes social sharing, reactions and social tagging. These have been included with the aim of adding interactivity to what is already an interactive medium.

One-click Upgrade

The new Disqus is already available as a one-click upgrade for existing Disqus users. The service works on popular CMS platforms, including WordPress, tumblr, Blogger, Drupal and basically any publication that supports Javascript.

Perhaps the most notable change from this 2012 update would be the so-called serendipitous discovery. This extends the functionality of Disqus into more than just a commenting system, but rather a system through which websites can inter-link through both topic relevance and connections via readers.