Facebook phases out music player app

By | Published on Wednesday 2 November 2011


Facebook is phasing out its official music player app, which allowed page admins to upload an MP3s and add track information, mainly so artists and labels could share music via their news feeds, allowing followers to listen to a song within their browser.

In the same way there have been various rumours over the years that Facebook is about to launch a full-on music service, there have been similar claims the social network was developing a collection of tools for artists to use, adding some of the extra functionality MySpace offered for music types. Little of that ever came to pass, but there were some official Facebook apps – such as the music player – to help those managing music-based Facebook profiles.

But, in much the same way Facebook has opted to enable existing digital music platforms to integrate with its framework rather than launching a rival service, the uber social network has always preferred to let other companies – from YouTube to Soundcloud to the direct-to-fan platforms – empower artists on the social network by providing their own embeddable apps.

Facebook’s decision to quietly phase out its existing music player might be a sign it is about to launch a more advanced range of official tools for artists or, more likely, it’s part of the social network’s strategy to push partner company’s services forward instead of offering its own alternatives.

Or, possibly, Facebook’s lawyers are worried about the amount of unlicensed music being uploaded via its own MP3 upload widget, and the costs of operating a track takedown system to ensure the firm stays on the right side of US copyright law. As is so often Facebook’s policy, much easier to let someone else – aka valued partners – to worry about tedious stuff like that.