The features, which also include ways for users to spiff up profiles in a magazine, photo-heavy style, were introduced on Thursday during Facebook’s annual f8 developers’ conference in San Francisco by Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerburg.
For Facebook, a deeper integration of music, movies and other media into its service makes it more likely that users will spend more time on its site, enabling the company to generate more advertising dollars.
The media push comes as Facebook faces fresh competition from Google, which in June launched a rival social networking service, Google+.
One new thing that Facebook is rolling out over time is an overhaul of user profiles called “Timeline,” which lets users filter photos, keep a diary of activities and maintain “complete control” of privacy settings.
Timeline also centers on apps, including one from Hulu that allows Facebook users to watch TV shows together directly within Facebook’s website.
Another lets users listen to the same music that their friends are listening to on online streaming music services like Spotify and Rhapsody.
Dressed in a gray T-shirt, jeans and sneakers, Zuckerburg said Timeline is the “important next step to help you tell the story of your life.”
Joining Zuckerberg on stage was Netflix Chief Executive and Facebook board member Reed Hastings, who said he was excited to offer tighter integration with Facebook but did not give details.
Analysts speculated this week that Facebook might announce some sort of partnership with Netflix Inc, which this week drew investors’ and customers’ ire — again — by announcing it will separate its aging DVDs-by-mail service from online streaming.
Media is becoming an important part of Facebook’s strategy to maintain its position as the world’s No. 1 social network.
Facebook has been casting about for a big name executive to grease relationships with the film and music industries to boost its media offerings, several sources told Reuters.
(By Alexei Oreskovic; editing by Maureen Bavdek and Steve Orlofsky)