Facebook today added a Listen button to Facebook Pages belonging to artists, bands, and musicians. It's very prominent as it is located right beside the Like button, although it's only available on the desktop version of the site, not yet on the mobile side.
When you click the Listen button, music will start playing via one of Facebook's many music streaming apps for Timeline. If you haven't installed such an app yet, Facebook will prompt you to install one of them; the company will recommend one of the more popular ones among your Facebook friends, or in general on the social network.
I contacted Facebook to learn more about the new feature.
"Today Facebook launched a Listen button for band and artist Pages," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "The new button will give music fans an easy way to listen to songs through their favorite services, such as Spotify and MOG, directly from Facebook Pages. After clicking the button, the music service the person uses most frequently will begin playing songs from that artist. Because the music services are timeline apps, listening activity will be posted to timeline as it happens."
For whatever reason, Facebook also chose to underline the following three artists: Linkin Park, Slash, and Justin Bieber. My favorite artist, Eminem, is more popular than all three (in terms of Facebook Likes), so I'm going to use his Page as an example instead.
I haven't used any music apps on Facebook. As such, when I headed over to Eminem's Facebook Page, I was first told to use Rdio when I hovered over the Listen button, as you can see in the screenshot above. Refreshing the page a few times, I was then told to use Slacker Radio. After many refreshes, I was never recommended to use anything else, but of course Spotify and MOG, as Facebook underlined, are also popular options.
When you click on the Listen button, a song starts playing from the given artist. If you don't have the given social music app, you'll be asked to install it. There are two options: a blue "Okay, Listen to Music" button and a standard "Close" button.
As Techcrunch notes, this launch is yet another attack on Myspace, which has attempted to redefine itself as a social network for music ever since Facebook beat it to a pulp. It looks to me like the few users who are sticking around on Myspace have even less of a reason to do so now.
Facebook pushed out the new Timeline redesign to all Facebook Pages last month, so it makes sense that the company can now start offering custom features for certain types of Pages. I wonder how long it will be before we see Read, Watch, and other buttons on Facebook Pages?