Announced on the official Facebook blog earlier today, the social network is rolling out a “Listen With Friends” feature that allows Facebook users to click a single button to sync up and listen to a song that a friend is currently enjoying. While the feature requires the user to authorize the Spotify or Rdio application on the user’s Facebook profile prior to listening to the song, the track syncs at the same position as the friend and friends can chat about specific parts of the song. In order to identify Facebook users that are currently listening to music on Spotify or Rdio, a musical note icon will appear next to the name of the user in the chat interface as well as the real-time news ticker.
Similar to the basic functionality of Turntable.fm, Facebook users can act as a virtual DJ while choosing songs in the Spotify or Rdio interface. Up to 50 Facebook friends can listen at the same time as well as make comments about the songs and request upcoming tracks. When a user starts listening to a musical track through Spotify or Rdio, a one-sentence blurb also appears in the Facebook news ticker. Users have the ability to control who sees that they are listening to music as well as delete songs that they have previously listened to from the Facebook Timeline.
While many recording artists are currently dissatisfied with the amount of money made each time a user listens to a track through these streaming services, implementing this new function on Facebook with potentially one billion users this year clicking away will increase the volume rapidly. It will also encourage users to upgrade to premium listening plans on these streaming services after running out of free music listening time faster each month. Facebook has begun rolling out the new function to a handful of accounts and plans to complete the launch by early February.