Add Me As a Frenemy: MySpace and Facebook Discuss Sharing Content

MySpace’s acquisition of leading Facebook music application iLike earlier this year gave it a strong foothold for distributing MySpace content inside Facebook. But now, the two companies are officially talking about how they might further share data.

That’s according to The Telegraph. “Hypothetically speaking, as nothing has been formally arranged yet, MySpace could become a Facebook Connect partner – which would allow people to share content they liked from MySpace with their Facebook network, ” Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg told the newspaper.

It’s not clear what data would be shared from one site to the other, although MySpace apparently would like to share more of its content with other sites as it is trying to make itself more of an entertainment hub than a general platform like Facebook.

Connect is a freely available software service that any web site or internet-connected device can use. It lets Facebook users sign into another service using their Facebook identity, then do things like share information from the other site back to Facebook. It’s not clear what would stop MySpace from implementing Connect on its site today.

[Update: Although, as others wonder, the mention of Connect begs the question of what might happen to MySpace’s less developed competing program, MySpaceID. Perhaps Connect would be on, as a way to share information between those two sites, while MySpaceID would be for sharing information between MySpace and other web sites? It’s hard for us to imagine Facebook doing some sort of special MyspaceID integration on its site.]

The report is vague about any details. Given MySpace’s focus on music — it also has the MySpace Music property where users can stream playlists of full songs, and some new features for artists — we wonder if the discussions are perhaps about music in particular? MySpace Music is a joint venture with the record labels, which is how the social network has the rights to stream playlists. iLike’s Music app, with more than 11.8 million monthly active users, currently offers a song playlist app that features YouTube videos. That’s a way to get around licensing issues, but also not the slickest of music-listening interfaces.

MySpace, which is also one of the largest online video sites behind YouTube, is already planning to run its own videos within iLike’s applications on other social networks, including on Facebook. But it has also said that streaming music isn’t coming to iLike at this point. But perhaps this was at least part of the discussion that The Telegraph reported? It’s not clear why there’d need to be a discussion about general content-sharing — MySpace can already add the Facebook Share widget if it wants to.

Although Facebook has looked into some sort of music streaming service, the closest thing to materialize, yet, is a virtual song gift that people can give each other through music company Lala.

In terms of the product, we’re interested to see how the data-sharing discussions goes. MySpace also recently enabled sharing into microblogging service Twitter. Besides music, MySpace is also one of the largest video-sharing sites on the web, as well as the second-largest social application platform behind Facebook.

Facebook and Twitter are both about sharing content, but at a very general level, they both want to be platforms for sharing content. How MySpace defines itself around content will need to somehow be strikingly different from either of them; music is possibly one way to pull that off.

Publish date: October 26, 2009 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT