Facebook is rolling out a new feature lets users share and play individual Spotify and Apple Music songs in their news feeds. Called Music Stories, the new functionality lets users repackage 30-second song clips in their Facebook news feed through Facebook’s proprietary music player.
Rumors of Facebook entering the streaming music sphere or even launching a Spotify competitor have been circulating for months. The move signals that Facebook is instead pursuing a policy of collaboration, rather than competition, with the streaming giants–for now.
According to a blog post by Facebook product director Michael Cerda, “songs and albums shared from the leading music services will become ‘Music Stories,’ a new post format which allows people to listen to a 30-second preview of the shared song (or album) while on Facebook. The preview is streamed from either Apple Music or Spotify (depending on the source of the link shared), and can be purchased from or saved to the respective music streaming service.”
Initially, previews from Apple Music, iTunes, and Spotify will be available inside the news feed. Users will also be able to directly purchase songs from the iTunes Store through their news feed. Facebook says other services are expected to plug into Music Stories’ functionality, as well. The 30-second format helps ensure that users don’t get bored with the songs, but it also has a nifty legal function: It sharply reduces royalty fees Facebook has to pay.