Facebook's annual f8 developers conference kicks off later this work and there is a lot of anticipation for this one. That's because the future of Facebook as a sort of entertainment gateway is beginning to take shape.
The company is expected to announce a way to listen to music through your Facebook page by way of accounts you may already have set up with Spotify, Rhapsody or other music services. There's word that the video company Vevo might also be announced as a potential partner.
It doesn't take long to start seeing a future where Facebook serves as a gatekeeper to a lot of online entertainment services. Andrew Wallenstein, TV editor for Variety, says adding things like Hulu or Netflix makes a lot of sense and then, "Something like Facebook that the average person is just using for liking things or reaching out to friends becomes a place where you're watching TV and movies as well."
A popular feature of Spotify is how it borrows information from Facebook to display music lists that your Facebook friends have already made. We could be seeing something similar on Facebook: what movies your friends like, their lists of favorite classic comedy TV shows, their workout music. There will naturally be a high "who cares" quotient but if you have a friend with good taste in movies, you can find something good to watch on Netflix (if not, necessarily, Qwikster).
While Facebook won't replace any of those entertainment companies, CNET editor-at-large Rafe Needleman says it can fit into the future cosmology. "People are becoming more and more accustomed to access through subscription plans," he says, "So we will pay $10 a month for music account or $8 a month for Netflix streaming or whatever and then be able to get that content on whatever device we want. Now, you start to link that to social accounts and you'll be able to get what your friends are watching or liking right now. You'll be able to communicate to people about whether you liked it or not. So the recommendation services for the media you can watch wherever you are and pay for $10 a month until the day you die, the recommendations get much better and the media companies theoretically anyway, make more money and get a bigger lock on you."
Also on today's program, we present Tech News Theater. Today's play is "The User Agreement". Join the video game enthusiast as she wades through Sony's user agreement for PlayStation Network and finds that she must agree not to join in any class action suit against the company.