Facebook’s been gearing up to take on the biggest challenge of all: your taste in everything.
The social media giant is growing older and maturing. With 800 million users worldwide, it’s still the top site of its kind, but some changes may be due to its need to stay relevant and compete with the Google+s of the world.
Unveiled in June of 2011, Google+ now has 20 million users – still a far cry from the global domination of Facebook, but its numbers are steadily climbing.
Some changes to Facebook are simply aesthetic – a new “Top Stories” feature, extending the 500-character post limit to 5,000, and an overwhelmingly up-to-date news ticker about all Facebook friends’ activities all the time.
Probably the most important change to Facebook, announced on September 22nd at the F8 developer conference in San Francisco, is their partnership with almost a dozen different music services – including Spotify, Slacker Radio, Soundcloud, Earbits, Vevo, Rhapsody and others.
Launched in 2008 in Sweden, Spotify has gained massive popularity in the past few months, thanks in part to its promotion by Zuckerberg. The new partnership will surely further the music service’s success and possibly establish them as the social media music service of choice.
Integrated to Facebook’s Open Graph app platform, Facebook users can use Spotify to share songs and playlists with friends in real time. Endorsed by Zuckerberg as an excellent way for users to make new musical discoveries and further share interests with friends, Spotify is indeed the most prominent of Facebook’s new batch of musical partnerships.
Facebook users can expect to see play buttons to start popping up on their pages, seamlessly connecting them to music shared by friends and allowing them to stream it on the spot.
Instead of developing their own music service, Facebook decided to be a host to others. By not having to deal with licensing and expansion, the service can continue to focus on its number one priority: growing its user base.
There has been some controversy surrounding Facebook’s partnership with Spotify, but the biggest debate has been over Spotify’s new necessity for users to belong to Facebook in order to create a new music account.
When a user goes to the Spotify page, they are required to have a Facebook account and are prompted to create one if they don’t already. Similar to the game service Zynga’s growth – which was linked to the success of the social network – Spotify is now connected to Facebook in more than just sharing music.
Before their partnership with Facebook, Spotify was its own entity and required no connection to another service. But, now one cannot exist without the other; It’s become a symbiotic Internet relationship.
Whether or not Spotify will rise to such web stardom as its new partner will depend upon Facebook users’ abilities to willingly accept the new integration. At this point, however, it seems like it’s just a matter of time before Spotify does assume a leadership role in the music streaming industry, eventually ousting competitors like Rdio and Grooveshark thanks to it being Facebook’s default music service of choice.
Butcher, Mike. “Controversy as Spotify requires new users to be on Facebook first” TechCrunch http://eu.techcrunch.com/2011/09/26/controversy-as-spotify-requires-new-users-to-be-on-facebook-first/
Roettgers, Janko. “Facebook teams up with Spotify, Turntable.fm to let users share music” Gigaom http://gigaom.com/2011/09/22/facebook-teams-up-with-spotify-turntable-fm-to-let-users-share-music/
Warren, Christina. “Spotify Comes to Facebook” Mashable Entertainment http://mashable.com/2011/09/22/facebook-music-spotify/