The song ‘Happy Birthday’ has been the focus of its own copyright shenanigans down the years, culminating in a $14m settlement by publisher Warner/Chappell in early 2016. Now that work, as well as some famous birthday-themed recordings, are key to Facebook’s latest user-generated content (UGC) feature. It’s called ‘Birthday Stories’ and is all about people wishing friends and family members happy birthday by adding ‘stickers’ to their stories posts on the social network.
A group of artists have recorded their own takes on the classic ‘Happy Birthday’ to be used in the feature, but tracks including Stevie Wonder’s ‘Happy Birthday’, The Beatles’ ‘Birthday’ and 50 Cent’s ‘In Da Club (Go Shorty, It’s Your Birthday)’ are also available. It’s the latest example of a feature within a Facebook property made possible by the company’s slate of UGC licensing deals with labels and publishers.