Will Facebook Music Actually Work?

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Facebook’s music integration is finally here, and it’s unlike any sort of music sharing we’ve seen before as part of the Open Graph. Ostensibly you’ll be able to keep track of what your friends are listening to via Facebook’s new real-time Ticker, which Zuck promises will deliver updates in—his actual words—“real-time serendipity.”

When a friend is consuming media—like listening to a song on Spotify, Rdio, or Rhapsody—the activity itself shows up in the Ticker for you to see. From there, you can click on the title to listen to what your friend is listening to.

(LIST: 10 Things You Shouldn’t Do On Facebook)

As Reuters reports:

“…if users listen to music on Spotify or MOG via Facebook, it will show up in the just-launched mini news-feed that appears on the right of the opening page. If you make a new playlist, it will appear in the main newsfeed.

Your friends can then see what you are listening to in either of those feeds, and choose to listen as well.”

“We used to go to our friends’ houses to browse their record collections,” said Spotify’s Daniel Ek as he took the stage at Facebook’s f8 conference. “But we haven’t been able to do this online.”

He’s exactly right.

As I wrote back in June, turning music into a social experience on the web is incredibly challenging. Many have tried. Most have failed.

Apple’s “Ping” comes to mind as one of the more glaring failures in the Cupertino-based company’s recent product releases. Ping, a social network predicated on music sharing, didn’t as much combust into flames as it crawled into a quiet corner to be lost and forgotten.

(MORE: Screenshot Tour of Facebook’s New ‘Timeline’ Interface)

Turntable.fm works brilliantly in the social space because it’s equal parts clever and indulgent: Everyone considers their taste in music topnotch. We love the act of showing songs to others because it makes us feel good.

And it’s this reason why I have a hard time believing that integrating music with Facebook is actually going to work (and by “work” I mean actually used by average users).

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