updated 10:35 am EDT, Thu October 23, 2008
Facebook Music Rumor
A previously hinted-at Facebook music service could be true after all, a claim made by VentureBeat suggests. Previously discredited, a now supported rumor asserts that the social network is allegedly planning to team up with a partner such as iLike, imeem, Lala or RealNetworks' Rhapsody to offer a way of at least streaming full songs over artist pages or those friends who bring up songs in the regular Facebook news feed. The service would potentially let users buy downloads, though whether this would involve the partner or simply linking to a third party such as Amazon or iTunes is unknown.
The rumor is partly supported by Facebook's introduction of a feature on Tuesday known as an Action Link, which automatically jumps to a specific feature in a Facebook app to perform the relevant task. While described as purely conceptual, a mockup by Facebook itself shows a music feed with Action Links to either listen to a given song or to buy the associated album.
Such a service is still unconfirmed but may be considered important by Facebook, which now has to compete against MySpace Music and a broader trend away from app-specific stores such as iTunes and towards web-based platforms. A complete music service would compete with third-party Facebook apps but would also encourage users to stay at the Facebook website for longer, boosting the prospects for more and better advertising.