Whether you love or hate Facebook (or love to hate it), some of the changes they introduced this week will have implications to the music sphere. Partnering with music services, such as Spotify and Rdio, members have the option of reporting to Facebook what they’re currently playing. This initially shows up in the new Facebook ticker, such as “Kevin Flick is listening to Halogen (I Could Be a Shadow) by Neon Indian on Rdio.” This is all tied under the new Facebook Music feature rolled out this week.
If several friends are listening to the same album, Facebook conglomerates this information in one news feed status, listing friends that are listening to the album. It also posts the album cover and several songs that can be listened to.
Taking this a step further, Facebook’s new Timeline is going to add this information to your profile’s timeline, along with a list of artists you enjoy listening to.
I see several implications to this addition. Though I’m not entirely excited about the new ticker, it does provide an opportunity for bands to gain exposure, and potentially go viral on Facebook. Though it’s unclear how much of an impact the ticker and timeline might have on bands, “word of mouth” helps independent artists out tremendously.
Another implication is that Facebook is promoting the album. From what I’ve seen so far, most of the Facebook music updates are of someone listening to an album. This emphasis might reinforce the concept of albums.
The artist’s name is linked to the artist’s page on Facebook, which potentially translates into more fans. Any band knows that more Facebook fans means that they’re able to update their listeners to new music and performances.
Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t happy with the way Facebook implemented these changes. As someone studying User Experience (HCId at Indiana University), I felt that the ticker and changes to the news feed throw too much information at the user at once. But I do welcome the Facebook Music addition.
One feature I would like to see an the option of utilizing Facebook Music in a Facebook advertisement. If so, artists could pay for an ad that would funnel click-throughs to the song on Spotify (or the music service of their choice). As people listen to the music, it would also appear in that person’s ticker or news feed.
Finally, if you want to see what your friends are listening to, this link will give you a list of the ten most recent albums and playlists your friends are listening to, as well as the top three songs: https://www.facebook.com/?sk=music