As part of its ongoing effort to surface every bit of information you could possibly need without ever having to leave your News Feed, Facebook has begun rolling out a new music feature that will let you sample the music shared into your feed. A new post format called Music Stories will let users preview 30 second clips of songs and albums shared to Facebook from Spotify, Apple Music, and iTunes.
Facebook says more services will support Music Stories soon
Music Stories — which are only available in Facebook’s iOS app — pulls in streams shared to the social network from Spotify and Apple Music and repackages them in Facebook’s new audio player, allowing users to sample the songs and albums without having to leave the app — eventually you should be able to share playlists as well. You don’t need to have Spotify or Apple Music installed on your phone, or be a subscriber to either service to hear clips on Facebook. Users can save songs to their music collections, or buy it from iTunes by clicking a button on the post. Want to share music from another streaming service? Facebook says more services will support Music Stories in the near future.
This is Facebook’s first major move toward music since it launched a deep integration with Spotify in 2011. The partnership helped Spotify grow in the United States, but was a clunky addition to Facebook. If you had it activated, Spotify automatically posted everything you played to your News Feed, and if you clicked play on a song, it would kick you out of the browser and into Spotify’s desktop app. Spotify went so far as to force users to sign up with a Facebook account, which didn’t please anyone. But times are different now.
Instead of being a dumping ground for everything you listen to on Spotify, Facebook is now only going after the cream of the crop: the music you actively want to share with your friends and family. As Facebook has become the place where most people get their news, and with its rapidly growing video platform pulling in a staggering 8 billion views a day, getting back into music was the next logical step.
There’s little reason to think Facebook’s ambitions with music will stop at song previews
In July, The Verge reported that Facebook was holding talks with labels about their renewed interest in music. Nearly 900 million people use Facebook on mobile devices every day, and there’s little reason to think Facebook’s ambitions with music will stop at song previews.
There’s no clear indication why Facebook couldn’t stream a full song from Spotify or Apple Music or any other streaming service right in the Facebook app, and that kind of integration could help spur serious growth for music services and increase Facebook’s usage time. If you already get your news and watch your videos inside Facebook, why not sign up for a participating service and stream your music all from one app?
For now, you can’t stream a full song inside of Facebook, making Music Stories less useful to Spotify users than the embeds you find around the web." And let’s not forget about YouTube.
Unfortunately, the integration of these music services increases the risk you’ll see Macklemore in your feed. Macklemore (and Ryan Lewis) sent us the following statement: "One of our priorities has always been to deliver our music to our fans as directly as we can and we are excited that now there is an even easier and more direct way to do that on Facebook."
So anyway, consider yourself warned.
Music Stories will begin rolling out to iOS users around the world today.