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Facebook Gets Musical

The social media site now lets us “Listen with” friends . 

Facebook upgraded its music services this week, with a function that allows you to join friends (or vice-versa) as they listen to songs on Spotify or Rdio. It’s “listening to music in a new way,” the social network says. But when we all have access to a plethora of media sharing options already (tweets, pins, likes and posts), achieving a new level will require some creative java—and Facebook’s new app isn’t quite there yet. Sure, it has some cool points. The app, which only works on Facebook timelines, transforms passive music suggestions via other users’ playlists on your news feed into active recommendations when you “Listen with” your friends on Facebook chat. But it doesn’t seem to do much more and, certainly, nothing new. Google Talk, which has options for posting a music status and linking to videos during a conversation, essentially gets you the same thing. Even Facebook story tickers on news feeds let you play a song someone’s listened to right then and there, although the two of you can’t harp on it in real time (you can always leave a comment). And really, it’s rather difficult to “experience [a song] together, just like when you’re jamming out at a performance or dance club” when your friend isn’t in the same room.