During the keynote address at f8, Facebook's annual developers' conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg excitedly introduced what he called a "new class of apps" that eventually will include tons of music applications – with Spotify kicking things off starting today.
These apps will all be built on Facebook's new Open Graph platform which, according to Facebook product manager Sam Lessin, was designed to support apps that will "help you discover what your friends are up to. You can even join in if you want: play the song they're listening to, or watch the same TV show."
"The last five years have been about getting people signed up and connected," said Zuckerberg, who proudly proclaimed that Facebook had half a billion users in a single day recently. "The next five years – the next era – is going to be defined by the apps and the depth of engagement."
For music fans, "depth of engagement" means seeing what your friends have listened to in the past (regardless of if they even "liked" it or not), and actually hearing what they are listening to currently. These new music-based apps will appear as a music dashboard on Facebook's new user canvas, Timeline, which will be rolled out in the next few weeks.
f8 attendees got to hear firsthand that Zuckerberg is a Jay-Z fan, as he cued up a sample through Spotify on his Facebook profile. He then introduced Spotify CEO and co-founder Daniel Ek to talk about how Spotify will use Facebook's Open Graph to extend their service.
"Today is a big day for Facebook. And it's a big day for Spotify," said Ek. "But mostly, it's a big day for people who love music." Recalling a time when music fans would browse their friends' physical music collections when they went over each others' houses, he explained that Spotify, using Open Graph, will make your friends' music accessible from anywhere there's an Internet connection.
Facebook's new initiative could also prove beneficial to the music industry, as it fosters fan bases and allows it to cultivate new artists via social media. "Spotify users who connect to Facebook listen to more music on a monthly basis, but they also listen to a greater variety of music," said Ek. "And, because they're social, they're more engaged. And because they're more engaged, they're twice as likely to pay for music."
Check out the following promotional video for the new Open Graph platform on Facebook.