Remember MySpace? Of course you remember MySpace, that old, pixelated social media platform that dominated our attention for a few years in the mid-2000's. Remember your 'Top 8' friends? Those horrible, custom backgrounds? Remember everyone's pal Tom? Those were good times. And of course, one of the things that made your MySpace profile great and enabled you to show off just how cool and with it you were was the music option - on MySpace, you could attach an audio player and select a playlist, so anytime someone visited your profile they got hit with a blast of your favorite tunes, immediately letting them know what you were all about, musically speaking. Remember that?
(I feel so old)
I was reminded of this today when I saw Facebook's latest announcement - Facebook's giving users a new way to share music across the network via a new posting option called 'Music Stories'. And while it's not really the same as MySpace's 'classic', music player, it does give users the ability to share their musical interests more easily with their Facebook friends, and will have significant benefits for Apple Music and Spotify as a result.
We're introducing "Music Stories" today to enable better music discovery and sharing on Facebook. The new post format allows people to listen to previews on Facebook from Apple Music and Spotify. You can read more about it on Facebook for Media: http://media.fb.com/blogPosted by Music on Facebook on Thursday, November 5, 2015
As highlighted in the video, now, whenever you're listening to a track on your mobile device, you'll be able to share a link to the song on Facebook, from which Facebook will generate an image and a 30-second audio preview.
The preview will be streamed from either Apple Music or Spotify, relative to the source of the link. Listeners can also bookmark and/or purchase the full song by clicking through on the link option.
From the announcement post:
"We hope by making this experience better, artists will share more, friends will share and engage more, and music will become a better part of the Facebook experience overall."
While the copy and paste process seems a little clunky, the new option will no doubt prove popular with many users, whilst also giving artist a new tool to help promote - and importantly, generate sales of - their work among the largest social media audience in the world.
And while Facebook users have always been able to share a YouTube link or similar to promote their musical leanings, the new tool could make it easier for users to share their favorite tunes while on the go - though this would no doubt be heightened if there were a one-click sharing option (something Facebook is no doubt investigating).
The new option is only available via iPhone at the moment, but it'll be made available to Android shortly. A MySpace-style, embedded music player for your profile, meanwhile, is (thankfully) not coming anytime soon.