Facebook’s Mark Zukerberg had a Steve Jobs look and feel to him yesterday (Thursday 22 September 2011) when he took to the stage at the f8 developer’s conference in San Francisco to introduce a “master plan for the social network.” Facebook will try to turn the web on its head and rewire it from “Search” to “Social”. For example they are adding a “Listen” button which will be similar to the “Like” button. Listen buttons will start to replace the familiar Like button where there’s something to hear, along with Watch and Read. For example a “Listen” button will send a message out to your friends which may say “Chris Byrnes just listened to the new Split Enz song.” This seems remarkably similar to one of the tools in the Listener Driven Radio system that has been increasing Tune-Ins and Time Spent Listening by allowing fans of a radio station to introduce their friends to a radio station. Now your Facebook friends will be able to see what song, artist or radio station you like.
Facebook users will also be able to incorporate their favourite music services such as Rhapsody using custom apps. They will be able to share music with their friends and listen to songs together in real time with a number of different music sharing services. For example, Spotify users who connect to Facebook can now automatically share the songs they’re listening to through Facebook’s new news ticker. This will be like Napster but with the approval of the music industry. You can read more about the music service here. Here is another take on the music service from The Guardian’s website
Clear Channel is also getting into bed with Facebook and Bob Pittman promises “an enhanced social music listening experience on iHeartRadio that is integrated with Facebook, making it easier for people to discover and share new music online with their friends.” People using iHeartRadio can feature their listening activity on their Facebook profile in real-time. Check it out here.
ZUCKERBERG also touted the network’s new Timeline feature, which he described as “the story of your life. ” All the user’s stories and apps will be included, creating a “new way to express who you are.” He described it as an electronic scrap book which can display your life by month or location. See a mock on example from Facebook here.
We think these improvements to Facebook create some great opportunities for radio stations and radio personalities. For example, you could easily create the History of your radio station online using pictures, video and audio to tell the story. Make it easier for listeners to interact with and share music and other content. Some of these changes are live now and some will not show up for a few weeks, but we will keep you up to date with each enhancement and suggest ways you might use them to your advantage to drive more listener engagement with your radio station.