Facebook is rumored to be launching a media platform with Read, Listened, and Watched buttons at its f8 developer conference tomorrow. It will allow people to easily share their favorite music, television shows, and movies, effectively turning your profile into an entertainment hub. Unfortunately, it turns out that the company's original plan to have its users consume media without leaving the service, has flopped.
Facebook originally wanted to let users view content from services like music and video services directly on the social network. That idea didn't work out, according to multiple sources familiar with the launch plans. "We were bummed when they killed it," one f8 launch partner told All Things Digital. "We thought it was cool."
Here's how a rumor from four months ago first described the integration:
A Music tab will be added in the left-hand column, where Facebook lists Photos, Friends, Places, Groups, Deals, Pages, and Games. It will show up if you have listened to music from one of Facebook’s music partners. There will also reportedly be Music Notifications, Recommended Songs, Top Songs from friends, Top Albums from friends with cover art, Recent listens from your friends, and a persistent Play/Pause button added to the bottom of Facebook where you currently have the chat icon.
The alternative, which Facebook has reportedly chosen, means when you click on story telling you your friend is consuming some type of content, Facebook will open up a third-party webpage to the content's service. You'll be able to sign on via a single click using your Facebook identity, but you'll have to use the third-party service's player to consume the content yourself.
It's not clear why Facebook is not simply embedding the content into its website. Some believe the company didn't manage to build a solid enough system that could do everything it wanted to, while others think that the problem was rights issues, particularly with regard to music services.
Either way, the experience is not going to be seamless for Facebook and its partners. Because of malware and scams, Facebook users are weary of leaving Facebook via a link they found on the site. In the end, how successful it is will all come down to execution, and we'll be able to start gauging that tomorrow.