Facebook's stance on music is simple: when it's discovered through friends, people listen to more songs and from a wider variety of artists. That's why, less than two months ago at its 2011 f8 developer conference, the company announced an update to its Facebook Platform that focused on supporting multiple companies offering similar services.
Facebook doesn't want to build its own products for music, video, news, gaming, and so on. Instead, the company wants to enable its users to share with each other the content they are consuming from the various third-party websites and services that serve it up. Facebook announced 17 launch partners at the event (hundreds more are working on building more social apps with the Open Graph) instead of its own solutions to compete with them.
In the last six weeks since f8, Facebook says its users have shared their listening activity more than 1.5 billion times with their friends using the Open Graph music apps. These are updates that can be seen in the Ticker and will be also available in the upcoming Timeline revamp.
The company has since found that large music developers have more than doubled their active users. Earlier-stage startups and services with a smaller base have meanwhile seen anywhere between a 2x to 10x increase in active users:
- Spotify: Already one of the defining social music apps on the web, they expanded to the US this summer and added well over 4 million new users since f8.
- Earbits: Y Combinator-funded startup built by a team of musicians saw a 1350 percent increase in the number of users becoming fans of the band they’re listening to.
- MOG: Their uniquely social business model has led to a 246 percent growth in Facebook users since f8.
- Rdio: Their strong social ecosystem has expanded with a 30x increase in new user registrations from Facebook.
- Slacker: Available across mobile, TV, auto and web, Slacker saw a more than 11x increase in monthly active users in the month following f8.
- Deezer: Based in France, they've added more than 10,000 users per day since finalizing their Open Graph integration.
Growth like this isn't too big of a surprise: many know the advantages of leveraging Facebook with its 800 million active users. Still, I'm sure Facebook and its partners are happy, although both will undoubtedly be looking to see whether or not the numbers continue to rise.
"Our hypothesis was that integrating with the Open Graph would accelerate music discovery and make it a more valuable part of the Facebook experience, while improving key metrics for our partners," a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. "We want to provide an anecdotal summary of what we’ve seen in the two months since launch, even though Timeline -- one of the key channels for expression and discovery -- has yet to be released. It's still early, but these results show that the Open Graph can be a powerful discovery mechanism for users and drive significant growth for developers."