A software engineer on Thursday uncovered references to a music download service called “Vibes” in Facebook’s new video chat desktop software.
Jeff Rose, of lifeisagraph.com, uncovered the code when looking into how the FacebookVideoCalling.jar file worked on his Apple machine. He noticed references to two Facebook services, one called “Peep,” a video chat plugin, and “Vibes,” a music download dialogue. (See the code below).
Now that we’re starting to see solid proof of some sort of Facebook music service it begs the question, does anyone really want a Facebook music service? I’m guessing that depends on what its definition of “music service” is.
We heard rumors that it might involve a variety of existing music services that will work with Facebook to share users listening habits with their friends. Enabling users to share information about themselves (if they choose to do so) is a part of what Facebook already does and makes this option a pretty logical choice.
Where things get dicey is if the social network hopes to start selling MP3s to its 750 million users.
I’m all for competition, but quite a few services out there aready allow people to purchase their music online. If Facebook enters the digital storefront game, it’s going to need to give its users a reason to buy songs through Facebook instead of somewhere else such as iTunes or Amazon MP3.
Facebook might also want to be careful not to adopt too many new features all at once. Considering it just announced the addition of Skype-powered video calling to its chat client last week and hinted at similar partnerships in the future, that might be a problem.
The last thing Facebook wants to be is a Swiss Army Knife website where its users can do anything and everything they would ever want to do online. Or maybe that’s exactly what they want. Either way, I’m pretty sure that approach didn’t end too well for MySpace.
What do you think about the idea of Facebook Music and what would you like to see the service look like?