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Facebook reveals new music features, including Musical.ly style lip-syncing

By | Published on Wednesday 6 June 2018

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Having now handed over a small mountain of cash to the all those cash-loving money fans in the music industry, Facebook is celebrating by ripping off Musical.ly. And why not? When you’ve written advance cheques that big, I think you should be allowed to rip off a rival app that has proven super popular with the youth demographic who have been leaving your service in their droves. In fact, I’m pretty sure that right is enshrined in the bible somewhere.

“We’re starting to roll out Lip Sync Live, which lets you lip sync to songs from forever favourites like ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ by Guns N Roses to new hits like ‘Havana’ by Camila Cabello”, wrote Facebook in a blog post yesterday. “With Lip Sync Live, you can express yourself with music from a variety of genres in real time. So whether you prefer songs like ‘Happier’ by Ed Sheeran or ‘God’s Plan’ by Drake, Lip Sync Live lets you bring friends and family into spontaneous musical moments”.

Facebook has been busy signing advance-heavy licensing deals with all the records companies, music publishers and collecting societies in recent months, having been locked in negotiations for over a year. Users have been uploading stacks of music onto Facebook’s platform for ages now of course, especially since it really started pushing video posts, but – with a few minor exceptions – it’s only now that the social media firm has licensing deals in place to make music on its service legit.

Facebook has no ambitions to become a Spotify-style streaming service, but sees opportunities to make its various platforms – Facebook, Instagram and all that VR nonsense – more compelling by officially bringing music into the mix. For example, helping users sync tracks into their video uploads safe in the knowledge that no music rights owner will then try to block said video. Or inviting them to lip sync to their favourite tunes. Unless, of course, they’re already bored of that after over-use of the Musical.ly app, in which lip-syncing was the original core proposition.

“We’ve been partnering with music companies around the world to bring music to more experiences on Facebook”, said yesterday’s blog post. “Today we’re announcing new ways for people to express themselves with music in their posts”.

“From weddings and holidays to everyday celebrations” it went on, “the special moments in life are often ones we associate with music. Together with the music industry, we are working to enable people around the world to include music in their videos on Facebook, opening up more options for creativity and sharing memories with friends and family”.

These innovations (innovative within the Facebook universe at least) are being tested in several markets as of now, with plans to roll them out more widely in due course. And fans of not quite innovations can expect plenty more innovations in the coming months, some of them probably not quite innovations, but possibly also some innovative innovations as well. How innovative.

“We’re exploring more ways to bring music to Facebook” the post concluded. “In the coming months, we’ll start testing options for adding the music you love to Facebook Stories. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with the music industry to create new ways for people to connect and express themselves through music across our family of apps”.

As are we all, I’m sure. Though, for the music companies themselves, all this super innovation is unlikely to be as exciting as those big fat advance cheques were.



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