Compare Commenting Systems: Disqus vs Livefyre vs IntenseDebate

All right, in my last post I wrote probably more words than were necessary about why every blog needs a good commenting system.  Today, we’re going to get our hands dirty: what are the key differences between Disqus vs Livefyre vs IntenseDebate.

Compare Client Lists

IntenseDebate has been around the longest and is owned by Automattic, the same company that owns WordPress, PollDaddy, Akismet, Gravatar, and other online ventures.  Because of this, you would assume that it would have the largest following, right?  Well, based on their client lists, you’d be completely wrong.  On IntenseDebate’s own website, their client list includes Screencrave, Macleans, Microsoft Partner Network, Dumb Little Man, and Infectious Greed.  After reading the list, I was left scratching my head and saying “Who?”

Compare that to Disqus, which is a 2007 startup.  They claim on their client list the following: CNN, TechCrunch, FoxNews, IGN, and Engadget.  Yeah…it’s a different sort of list.  I was shocked to see the difference between the two.

Livefyre, since they just got out of their private beta, have very few major clients, most notably The Next Web (Update: The Next Web is now with Disqus), Bloguin, and Spin Sucks.

Compare Logins

Disqus: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google, OpenID, and Yahoo.

InteseDebate: IntenseDebate, WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, and OpenID.

Livefyre: Livefyre, Facebook, Twitter, Google, and LinkedIn.

Compare Features

When it comes to features, all three have threaded commenting, commenter profiles, email notifications, moderation, and various other features.

Livefyre is different, though.  They seem to have taken a more social approach to commenting.  Using their system, you can share your actual comment via your social networking channels, trying to invite others into the conversation; you can tag or @reference people that are in the conversation; receive notifications when people are talking to you in the conversation.  Compare this with the other services, which basically only let you subscribe to notifications for all comments on a post (which on a major blog can get old REAL fast) or subscribe to notifications when someone responds to your comments.


As you can tell, I currently prefer Disqus (Update: I switched to Livefyre).  I’m a designer, and the Disqus framework just looks better than the others.  It’s clean, easy to use, and I just plain like it.  Based on client lists, it also takes the cake for largest community, which is important…when people come across your blog and see that you’re using a framework that they’re familiar with, they’re much more inclined to leave a comment.  You can also see a users commenting history within their Disqus profile, and if you’re a part of that, then being part of the bigger community is another large plus.

If it were only between Disqus and IntenseDebate, I’d have an easy decision…I just like Disqus.

Livefyre intrigues me, though.  I really like the way that you can “talk” to people within a commenting thread.  You can also share links directly to your comment with a Twitter-friendly shorted URL…a really great way to draw outsiders into the conversation.  I’m really interested to see where this company goes and if any major blogs start to pick up their service.

Another thing that is very attractive about Livefyre is their customer support.  Just look at the way that the Livefyre staff gets involved in conversations around the web: .  These guys want to grow, and they want to learn from community feedback to make their product better.  Kudos to you guys.

So, for now, I’m sticking with Disqus (Update: I switched to Livefyre).  I wouldn’t rule out a switch to Livefyre in the future, though.  Something about them just seems right…

What commenting system do you use on your blog?  Why?

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About Luke

My name is Luke, and I'm the Online Media Manager for a technology company, photographer, husband, and father. You can see a snapshot of some of my work at I cheer for the Red Sox and am completely in love with my wife and four little princesses.

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