Birthday Stories represents part of a larger effort by the social media giant to incorporate licensed music across its online platforms.
Beginning Friday (May 10), Facebook users can add digital cards, photos and videos to Stories to celebrate the birthdays of friends and family, the company has revealed to Billboard.
The new feature, known as Birthday Stories, will also allow users to add a music sticker for popular birthday songs such as “Happy Birthday” by Stevie Wonder, “In Da Club (‘Go Shorty, It’s Your Birthday’)” by 50 Cent, “Birthday” by The Beatles and “Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen” by Neil Sedaka as a way of creating a soundtrack for their birthday wishes on the platform. Artists including Jovanie, Lukas Graham, Lauv Raiche, SYML, Greyson Chance, Harper Starling, and Neda Yasee have also recorded brand-new, Facebook Stories-exclusive renditions of “Happy Birthday” for users to choose from.
Once their photos or videos are captured, users can add birthday songs to their Facebook Stories by selecting the “Music” sticker. Once that’s done, they can simply search “birthday” for a list of celebratory songs. A sticker featuring the artist and song will then appear on the video.
Birthday Stories is part of a larger recent push by the social media giant to allow users to incorporate licensed music into personal videos and other user-generated content (UGC) across its online properties, which include Instagram, Messenger, Whatsapp and Oculus VR. The push began in December 2017, when Facebook reached a deal with Universal Music Group (UMG) for both recordings and publishing, with the other majors and indies following. Licensed music was supported across the company’s platforms beginning in April 2018, with new in-app music tools following soon thereafter.
"We are enabling billions of users to be the music supervisor for their life story," Facebook’s global head of label partnerships Perry Bashkoff told Billboard in April, noting that the new music functions had the potential to help extend the life of a song far beyond its initial release date. "When there's a new single, we want to support it. But it doesn't mean once that single's over, the song's dead. It might have a perfect meaning for wedding season, or for your boyfriend, girlfriend, children or graduation."