Facebook isn't just rumored to be working with Spotify to more tightly integrate the streaming service with the social network; another rumor claims Facebook's musical ambitions go beyond Spotify and include other music services and applications. The social networking giant is currently working on lining up other online music services to partner with, according to sources cited by GigaOM.
Since listening to music, sharing music, and talking about music are all social activities, it makes sense that Facebook wants to be a part of the phenomenon. The Facebook f8 (pronounced "fate") conference is a yearly event held by Facebook that takes place in San Francisco, California. The 2011 edition of f8, which will most likely be held in August 2011, will be almost entirely focused on music.
Based on pitches it has made to some music services, Facebook is reportedly planning the following features for what may end up being called Facebook Music:
- In the left-hand column, where Facebook lists Photos, Friends, Places, Groups, Deals, Pages, and Games, you will find a new tab called Music. It will show up if a user has listened to music with one of Facebook's partner music services. Clicking on this new tab will open a page called Music Dashboard.
- The Music Dashboard will have Music Notifications (notify you if your friends have listened to songs recommended by you or on your profile), Recommended Songs (a list of songs heard and recommended by your friends that you can then play yourself), Top Songs from friends, Top Albums from friends with cover art, Recent listens from your friends, and a Happening Now ticker in the upper-right corner that shows what is happening in your musical universe, including songs that your friends are playing.
- A Persistent Playback/Pause Button will be added to the bottom of Facebook, where you currently have the chat icon. When you mouse over it, you will see what is playing on whatever service you might be logged into using Facebook Connect. It also allows you to play or pause a track once you discover it on Facebook, and is also linked to the play buttons in the News Feed.
- A page with snapshot of all the songs you have listened to on any specific service, your top tracks, and the number of times you have listened to them.
What's interesting here is that Facebook may never have to deal with record labels since it is partnering with the middlemen. This has the advantage of giving users access to multiple offerings and the disadvantage of confusing them with extra steps to get started with Facebook Music.