by Steven Musil
Facebook is pumping up the volume on its Open Graph initiative by rolling out a feature that allows users to listen to songs with their Facebook friends.
The social network announced today the introduction of a “Listen With” button that lets users of music services such as Rdio and Spotify share the exact same song, at the same point in the song, via the music service. However, both parties will have to be registered users of the service.
A chat sidebar spotlights current listening opportunities with a music note. To listen, users hover their cursor over the user’s name and then click the “Listen With” button. The chat sidebar also allows listeners to discuss the music being played.
Users will also have the ability to control who sees when they are listening to a song with a Facebook friend.
“Only the people you’ve shared your listening activity with can see when you’re listening with a friend,” Facebook said in a Help Center post. “You can control privacy settings in music apps when you install the app or on your app settings page after you’ve installed the app. You can also remove songs you listened to from your timeline on your private activity log.”
The new feature, which is very similar to social media Web site Turntable.fm, began rolling out today and is expected to be available to all Facebook users during the next couple of weeks.
At Facebook’s F8 developer conference last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg rolled out a new version of its Open Graph, a map of all of a user’s connections in the world. The initiative is expected to allow people to easily access all kinds of media content from a wide range of publishers, and as Zuckerberg promised, spur the creation of “a completely new class of social apps than what was ever possible before.”