Thursday, September 22, 2011

Facebook wants to be your music platform (among others)

As of September 20, 2011 it has become a known fact that the creators of Facebook have been tweaking their website to provide users with even greater access to the whereabouts, thoughts, and media (pictures, videos, etc) of their friends. The recent introduction of the new “ticker” is proof their innovations. On September 22, 2011, Facebook will hold its annual developer meeting —called “F8”. According to the article, what is going to be announced as the goal for Facebook for this year is a music platform. Facebook is said to be teaming up with companies such as Rhapsody, Spotify, Rdio, and Mog to develop this new platform. While this idea seems to be well calculated in that it will provide Facebook with an even greater opportunity to charge companies for advertisements on their site, it makes me wonder—I am an avid user of social media and have experience using most of the sites—is Facebook going to become the next MySpace?
In its prime, MySpace was a seemingly revolutionary concept which seemed to just pop-up over night. At the time I had discovered the site (2006-2007) it had a similar build to Facebook. You were able to post pictures of yourself, add personal information comment on pictures of your friends, etc. However what made MySpace so unique was its heavy integration with the music industry. MySpace had been a place where you could find, rate, and discover new bands and artists; on top of that, you were even able to share it with your friends by placing the music of one of the artists/bands on your MySpace page. At the time it had seemed revolutionary. Sometime later Facebook began to become more main-stream. To counter this MySpace had begun to sell out from its initial glory to a more commercialized and overly advertised version. This is what I feel caused Facebook to skyrocket to its iconic position. Facebook is now the epitome of what social networking sites aspire to be. To date—Facebook has over seven hundred and fifty million users and growing.
The innovations that Facebook creates can be highly desirable for business strategy and information. For example, an information system technician for a company may want to track the interests of people who “like” their company. Tracking the interests will allow the company to produce advertisements and improve their marketing by focusing on these users and their specific interests. The introduction of a music platform can only further increase the ways in which companies can interact and survey their customers. It’s clear that Facebook can be an extremely powerful tool to an information analyst but the article brings up a good point. The article states “Some of those new features seem a bit – well, familiar. Subscriptions essentially brings Twitter-like updates to Facebook, while the curation tool Facebook calls ‘smart lists’ isn’t too far removed from Circles on Google Plus.” Is it possible that Facebook has reached its creative limit? Or could this just be evolution? The integration of the positive aspects of other social media sites to the site seems to suggest so.

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