Facebook announced this morning a new feature called “Music Stories,” that will allow users to better discover new music or share tracks with their friends. Essentially a new post format for Facebook, Music Stories integrates with Spotify and Apple Music to provide a 30-second preview of the shared song or album that can be played directly on Facebook itself.
The music is streamed from Spotify or Apple Music, depending on the source of the shared link, and those who view and play the track can also choose to buy it or save it on the respective streaming service, Facebook explains. That is, you can click through to buy a track from iTunes, if shared through Apple’s download service, or stream it through Apple Music or Spotify, if you’re a streaming service user or subscriber.
Facebook says that it will roll out support for more music streaming services in the near future, as well.
”We’re excited to be a part of Music Stories with Facebook and provide Spotify listeners with a more engaging and simple way to listen to, discover and share music they love,” said Jorge Espinel, Head of Global Business Development at Spotify, in a statement. “Music Stories are a great way for people to continue bringing Spotify into the conversation on Facebook.”
This new feature is only available in Facebook’s iPhone application. It makes sense that this would be expanded to other platforms, including Android, in time – though, in that case, it wouldn’t support downloads from iTunes, but could integrate with cross-platform streaming services. However, Facebook has not yet confirmed details related to an expansion.
Music is one area that Facebook hasn’t heavily focused on in all its years, despite having stolen the social networking crown from Myspace back in the day – a social network known best for its music discovery features. By integrating with some of the top music streaming services on users’ smartphones, Facebook has the potential to drive a ton of traffic to artists’ albums and tracks.
The feature is a different take on social music sharing that what the Facebook-connected music streaming service Spotify offers today, as it’s more focused on explicit sharing. Users who post a “Music Story” are making a specific recommendation about their music discovery, or a favorite band. They have the opportunity to say more about the music in question in addition to simply posting a link to a song, because a “Music Story” is really just a rich media-filled status update.
To use the feature, you copy the link to the song or album in question, then post it to the status update box. This, in turn, creates an attractive preview that others can interact with – there’s even an animated spinning record with a pause button included when the track is played.
“Music Stories” is also a feature that will enable artists and bands to better market themselves and their work via their own Facebook profiles and pages, which may increase their reliance on Facebook in the light of growing competition from other social music services, including apps like SoundCloud as well as Apple Music’s own social platform called “Connect,” launched this summer alongside its new subscription-based streaming service.