Facebook's Impact on Music Services: 1.5 Billion Shares in Six Weeks
Facebook's Impact on Music Services: 1.5 Billion Shares in Six Weeks

Facebook has relaunched its Music page -- www.facebook.com/music -- officially dubbed "Music on Facebook. With the new music-centric area, the social site answers criticisms of its unwillingness to work with the music industry and at the same time hopes to get music fans, artists, venues and even music retail more involved in the site.

According to a company representative, the new music page will be "used to engage with anyone within the music community (musicians, fans, others in the industry) and also includes some best practices for how musicians can maximize their Facebook presences."

The info tab on the music page boasts the following features:
- Send updates about tours and concerts
- Showcase new releases
- Engage with fans
- Upload photos from concerts anywhere in the world
- Let your content spread virally through user interactions with your Page, and be discovered

A special "for musicians" tab provides a one-click link to create a band-specific Facebook page, with a list of instructions of how to best use Facebook to interact with fans. It also includes links to Facebook resources for additional assistance, and a list of preferred Facebook developers for more custom work.

But it's not just for artists. The new page also has a section for venue owners that also want to utilize Facebook to promote concerts and events, and includes a link to Facebook's advertising services.

And for fans, it offers five tips on how to best support their favorite acts or venues on Facebook, including music stores. The tips include tagging your favorite musicians in your updates with an @ sign as well as becoming fans of your favorite venues, retail music stores and ticketing companies.

The move may in part be a response to some of the negative press Facebook has received lately about its openness to working with the music industry. J Sider, co-founder and CEO of RootMusic, stirred up the pot at the Rethink Music conference last week by saying:

"When's the last time you tried to do something with Facebook, and they listened to you? We need a concise platform around music that's here to work with you."

To be fair, what Sider was trying to say was that Facebook relies on third party developers, like himself, to create the music infrastructure on Facebook using Facebook's APIs, rather than creating a special division of Facebook dedicated just to music. He later clarified his comments in the comments section of Hypebot:

"What I was saying is that Facebook is a great platform to build on and as you've said we have had a lot of success with it. We have a great relationship with them and appreciate it very much. But if you are an individual artist or manager it's tough to simply call up FB and ask if they could make a change on the platform for you."

RootMusic is the largest, but hardly the only service using Facebook. Others include ReverbNation, SonicBids, Damn the Radio, and others.

It's interesting to see Facebook step up their efforts to offer more direct services to artists. However it's worth noting that simply creating band profile pages and interacting with fans is not the only, or really even the best, way the music industry can use Facebook.There are also social games (Booyah, MXP4), location-based check-in services (some of which award free downloads for checking into a certain place), and more.

With Facebook's newly launched music space, the question is: Can the social networking site be to music in 2012 what MySpace was in 2006?