Apple’s Rock and Roll event is in full swing, and they’ve just announced that you’ll be able to share albums you’re interested in over Facebook and Twitter. This isn’t exactly a unique feature — we’ve seen music sites like Lala and plenty of others tap into Facebook Connect and Twitter for some time. But this is Apple, which has been notoriously slow moving when it comes to integrating parters into their own applications. And, of course, iTunes is now the biggest music retailer in the world, with over 100 million accounts and 8.5 billion songs downloaded, which means that even if a small fraction of iTunes users take advantage of the new sharing functionality, that will still represent a lot of sharing.
Note that this version of iTunes apparently does not have the social playlist features that had been rumored in the weeks leading up to today’s event.
Update: iTunes 9 is now live for download and we’ve just tried out the new sharing functionality for ourselves. In short, it’s quite basic at this point. On Twitter a shared item includes the song title, artist, an #iTunes hashtag, and a link to the iTunes store (no surprise there). But even Facebook’s shared item is pretty basic — unlike what you see when you share a song through Lala or similar apps, which let you stream song excerpts or the entire song from an embedded player, with iTunes your friends will only see a song’s album cover. If they want to hear it, they’ll have to fire up iTunes.
Also note that there’s apparently no way to share a song directly from your iTunes Library — you’ll have to load the iTunes Music Store and share a song from there if you want to publish it to Facebook or Twitter.
Image via GDGT