updated 02:40 pm EDT, Thu September 22, 2011
Facebook music and video sharing unveiled at f8
Facebook continued its string of news at f8 by detailing its media sharing. Part of a new system of verbs that replace the generic Like, it focuses most on music: users can spot someone listening to a song in the live ticker and start listening to the same track. Services will still need to launch the separate app if it exists, but the method will let anyone listen to similar content if it exists in a subscription service.
Initial partners in music include MOG, Slacker, Rhapsody, Turntable.fm, Mixcloud, Soundcloud, Rdio, and Deezer, among others.
Video works in a similar form and includes partners such as Hulu, Netflix, IMDb, Hulu, and DailyMotion, although a privacy law currently in change prevents the Hulu and Netflix integration from reaching the US just yet.
News is also coming and will see Canvas-based apps coming from previously iPad-only The Daily and Flipboard as well as a mix of new and traditional news formats, such as Digg, Yahoo, and The Telegraph. Games such as Words With Friends are also integrating the feature. Both games and news will slide on to the page rather than force the user to go to another page.
Mobile apps such as iheartradio, Nike+, Foodspotting, Color, Path, and Disqus will use a new Open Graph system to tie their activities directly into the new Timeline interface for Facebook, providing context-specific updates and reports. Content, whether listens or exercise runs, can be enabled directly from the app and needs just a basic "add to Timeline" option.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained the music strategy as a potential slap against pay-per-track stores such as iTunes and Amazon. It wasn't about "trying to block songs that you haven't bought" but having people listening to music they wouldn't have heard otherwise, he said.
Some of the features may have to wait until Timeline's rollout is complete, which may take up to two months. Facebook has promised that apps can start building and using integration immediately, and it expects that in many cases it will be Android, iPhone, and iPad apps using the open graph and verb integration than on the desktop.