Facebook integrates with Netflix, Spotify
Facebook users will be able to hear the music their friends are listening to and watch the TV shows their friends are watching through new partnerships with companies such as Netflix and Spotify.
"It's a completely new class of social apps to discover new things through your friends," Mark Zuckerberg announced during a keynote address at Facebook's f8 developer conference in San Francisco Thursday.
The new "open graph" Facebook apps from partners such as, movie streaming services Netflix and Hulu and music streaming services Spotify and iheartradio, will automatically feed to Facebook in real time everything a person is listening to or watching if the person adds the app to their "timeline."
Friends will be able to see them in a new "ticker" that scrolls across the screen and click on the song or video if they want to experience it with their friend.
Other such "social apps" can be used to automatically feed news stories a person has read, games they are playing, running routes they have taken, or recipes for food they have cooked to Facebook.
Spotify CEO and co-founder Daniel Ek told f8 conference attendees that the Spotify app will be free. He added that Spotify users who connect of Facebook listen to more music and more than twice as likely as other users to pay for music.
"Social discovery on Facebook means that we're bringing people back to paying for music again," he said.
Zuckerberg said other apps may be ad-supported or subscription based.
Brett Taylor, Facebook's chief technology officer, said the new type of app connects Facebook more closely with the rest of users' online lives.
"Last year on this stage, we introduced the 'like' button, which enabled you to like anything you see around the web. Open graph is about expanding that to all social actions – not just liking, but listening, watching, reading, walking – any activity you can think of for your app."
He told developers it is so easy to integrate other apps into Facebook that "you could do this entire integration this afternoon after the keynote."
He added that doing so provides opportunities by setting up the expectation that the app is social and about sharing: "That's the app that's going to win because that's the app I'm going to see my friends using."
Zuckerberg also announced a new feature called the timeline that organizes items posted to Facebook throughout a person's life instead of just their recent activity. It highlights important events and allows integration with the new social apps. The feature is expected to roll out over the next few weeks.
Facebook said it is also rolling out an activity log for each user that is only viewable by the individual user. It lists all the things the user has ever done or posted on Facebook so the user can delete, organize or adjust privacy settings for each one.