Facebook seeks to entice Gen Z with music-sharing in Stories, profiles
- Facebook added several music-related features that let users integrate music into the photos and videos they share on the social network. The additions include Music on Facebook Stories, an expansion of Lip Sync Live and a future option to add songs to a personal profile, according to a blog post by the social media giant.
- Users can add music to a news feed by taking a photo or video from their camera roll, tapping the sticker icon and selecting a sticker that shows the desired artist and song name. Plus, Facebook is expanding Lip Sync Live, a streaming function introduced to a handful of markets in June, that lets users share videos with music, to more artists and creators through an integration with Pages.
- In addition, Facebook is working on an app called Lasso, where users can record and share videos of themselves lip-syncing or dancing to popular songs, unnamed sources told TechCrunch.
Facebook's new and expanded music features are part of the social media platform's efforts to increase its appeal to Generation Z, which has typically abandoned the service for other platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. Just 28% of teens reported using Facebook, down from more than 40% two years ago, and only 5% call it their favorite social media platform, according to Piper Jaffray's annual teen survey released this week. Facebook's rumored Lasso app looks to be a direct competitor to TikTok, the short-form mobile video platform that merged with and replaced Musical.ly and is a hit with teens and pre-teens. The new music features come a day after Facebook integrated Instagram Stories with SoundCloud, the music-streaming service with 175 million users worldwide.
The new features could bolster adoption of Facebook Stories, which the company in September opened to advertisers around the world to help monetize the platform. More than 300 million people use Facebook Stories and Messenger Stories every day, according to Facebook's internal data, and 68% regularly use stories on at least three apps, per an Ipsos survey commissioned by Facebook IQ.
Logistically, the music features are the result of licensing deals for songs from Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Merlin, Kobalt, Global Music Rights and several European performing rights organizations. The social network is making several million songs available for users of its iOS and Android apps, initially in the U.S., Mexico, Australia and much of Europe, per Variety. These licensing deals — which competitors like Snapchat do not have — prevent users' videos from being subject to copyright claims and further discouraging users to give it a try.
The closer alliances among Facebook and music publishers may help to keep audiences engaged with their products. The music industry has a reputation for being youth-oriented with big stars who generate billions of streams, but the 45-plus age is responsible for 37% of music buying, per a survey by the Recording Industry Association of America.