updated 11:15 am EDT, Tue October 9, 2007
Facebook & iTunes
The popular social networking site Facebook is working on a music platform that would put it in direct competition with MySpace, while linking it with iTunes, say several anonymous sources. While MySpace has long been used as a venue for promoting bands, thanks in part to items like a built-in music player, Facebook has kept to a more utilitarian approach, only allowing minor applications such as iLike, which shares iTunes playlists and links to free MP3s. iLike would be incorporated into the new promotion platform, but the format would also allow sampling from iTunes, and ultimately buying tracks directly. Aesthetically band pages would retain the current Facebook style, as opposed to the custom and often visually dramatic looks of MySpace sites.
The operators of Facebook must reportedly finish negotiations with music labels before the service can start. Also in the works is the required agreement with Apple, though in some circumstances artists and labels may choose to sell tracks through their own services, rather than accept a middleman.
Links between Apple and Facebook are a recent phenomenon, having gained attention when Facebook developed an iPhone version of its website, which would later figure prominently during the keynote introduction of the iPod touch. Apple CEO Steve Jobs used Facebook as a demonstration of the Touch's Wi-Fi web browsing abilities.