Facebook’s music-licensing deals continue to fuel new features for the social network, with several more announced yesterday. However, the most interesting may be something that hasn’t yet been announced: a full-on standalone app to rival TikTok, the social-music-videos app that recently merged with tween-craze app Musical.ly. Which for the benefit of recently-subscribed readers, had nothing to do with Music Ally (us).
We’ll start with the announcements though. Facebook has followed its Instagram subsidiary in launching a feature for people to add music to their ‘stories’ as well as to their regular news-feed posts. When sharing a photo, people can now tap a ‘music sticker’ to search for a track and then add it as their soundtrack.
More interesting for artists will be the expansion of Facebook’s Lip Sync Live feature, a Musical.ly-style tool for people who want to mime along to favourite hits. It’s now expanded to more countries beyond the US, and it can also now be used by owners of Facebook pages. That means an artist can do their own Lip Sync Live, but perhaps more usefully, it means other kinds of creators (vloggers, for example) can too: so there may be something to investigate here for any label spending money on influencer marketing. Lyrics are also being added to Lip Sync Live, as Facebook capitalises on its deals with publishers.
Finally, Facebook profiles are getting a new music section. “We’ll soon be launching the ability to add songs — what you’re currently listening to, or your all-time-favorites — to a new music section on your profile. You can also pin a song to the top of your profile to share with friends and help them learn more about you,” explained Facebook. “Songs added to your profile will also visually showcase the artist and track you choose. When someone plays a song on your profile, they’ll hear a clip of the song and see an accompanying video featuring photos of the artists and album art. They can then choose to add the song to their own profile or visit the artist’s Facebook Page.” Cosmetic? Maybe – how often do you visit a friend’s profile? – but a nice addition.
TechCrunch offers the gossip on the new thing, however. “Facebook is building a standalone product where users can record and share videos of themselves lip syncing or dancing to popular songs,” it reported, quoting a source: “It’s basically TikTok/Musically . It’s full-screen, built for teens, fun and funny, and focused on creation…” The new app is reportedly called Lasso. You might question whether even Facebook can give TikTok a run for its money: or at least why it would create a standalone app rather than making these kinds of features part of Instagram, which continues to be the prime social platform for young people. But Lasso may at least be a way to hone this kind of feature before ultimately bringing it back to the company’s bigger apps.