It is time to celebrate! The “z-button” functionality is back on The Phinsider! It is a great day and a happy time for all of our community - even if you do not know what the z button does.
In the previous evolution of the commenting system here on The Phinsider and around the SB Nation NFL team sites, pressing z would automatically jump you to the next unread comment in the article. It allowed for quick movement throughout conversations and kept you from having to try to find if someone had replied to you or if you had missed something someone else had posted.
There are some other functions adding into the site as well. The c button can be used to scroll to the next comment, while Shift+C will move you back one comment. The Shift+A combination will mark all comments on the page as read - really useful when you are first starting to read a comment thread, so you don’t have to z each comment, you can just read through and then Shift+A them all to read.
On mobile devices, you should see a series of buttons to replicate these functions without needing your keyboard.
Bill Hanstock from SB Nation explains a little more of what you will see, as well as an update that is in the works to the z button already:
When you visit a comment thread, you can tap the Z key to skip to the next unread comment (highlighted in yellow). If there aren’t any unread comments on the page, but there are more comments to be loaded, Z key will auto-load the next batch of comments and then jump to the next unread comment.
Right now, the highlighting/unread comments are device specific, so it will remember what you’ve seen in the same browser that you used before, but it won’t remember if you switch devices. Cross-device support will be coming in the future.
Also, you can now see what people are replying to by clicking/tapping on the words “in reply to” on a comment, and we know that a small number of commenters were sometimes experiencing a lag in the system. That’s all been fixed.
There are still some things we have asked the developers to check out, like further indentations to better track a conversation. Those upgrades are in the works, and will hopefully be added soon.
For now, we should all celebrate that the z button is back!!!