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“The key to making music work [online] is not trying to block you from sharing songs you’ve bought; it’s helping you discover music so you’ll buy more,” Zuckerberg said before introducing Daniel Ek, CEO of the music service Spotify, who claimed that data from his company’s users showed that helping people sample songs makes them “twice as likely” to buy music.

Referring to Netflix, Spotify, and other partner companies planning to integrate with Facebook’s new features, Zuckerberg said, “These companies are not just coming up with ways to make movies and TV more social; they’re rethinking entire industries.” The Web’s most-read news source, Yahoo, is also working with Facebook, and News Corp.’s iPad-only magazine, The Daily, will become available through the site.

The new features are made possible by technology called the Open Graph, which connects Facebook’s data with outside sources of information. First announced in 2010, the Open Graph made it possible for users to recommend books, movies, and Web pages via the now-ubiquitous Like button and have those recommendations appear on their Facebook page. The Open Graph can also describe people’s connection to something—for example, showing that they “read,” “watched,” or “cooked” it. This kind of connection underpins Facebook’s new features.

When the Open Graph project was first announced, it was pitched as way to allow users’ social connections to follow them around the wider Web. The features announced today work in the other direction, bringing activity and content inside Facebook and potentially obviating the need to spend online time outside it.

Another new feature, dubbed Timeline, allows users to curate an interactive record of their life over the years. Timeline automatically summarizes a person’s past Facebook activity and attempts to identify the most significant moments. Users can also specify particular photos, events, or other content to highlight on the timeline.

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Credit: Technology Review

Tagged: Computing, Facebook, media, social networking, music, Spotify, movies, Open Graph

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