Facebook, now's your chance to resurrect Myspace's best feature


There's a rumour going around that Facebook wants to get in on the music streaming business. It's a crowded market, and Apple Music has made sure that any future players will have to work extra hard to make a success of it, yet Zuck supposedly wants a slice of the pie.

According to The Verge, Facebook is in some preliminary chats with major music labels, including Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group.

What Facebook intends to do with music is unclear. To its advantage it already has a 1.44 billion user base in place, a large chunk of which spend an average of 40 minutes a day on the site - although even that might not be enough to float another Spotify rival. It's interesting, because Zuckerberg decided early on that Facebook wasn't going to be like Myspace; there would be no music and very little customisation.

And, surprisingly, that worked. But I think there's a huge opportunity for real artist engagement that Facebook has been slow to jump on. Myspace made it work for some time, and in some ways still does despite most of its old users defecting to pastures greener.

Most of all, I think now's the time for Facebook to bring back the Myspace music player. You remember that, right? A small box that sat on your profile and played your song of choice whenever someone landed on your page.

The Myspace music player was a way to express yourself through sound; your choice of profile song said something about you, about how you were feeling in that moment. It was a breakup song, a song that said "I'm happy" or "I'm sad" or "I have a girlfriend and I think it might actually work out this time". It might have been a song you heard on the radio that morning. Whatever it was, it was your theme tune.

Good for everyone

Sure, some people found it annoying, and there was nothing worse than forgetting your speakers were turned up to 11 the moment you found out Jeff had "rediscovered" Lightning Bolt.

But it was just one element that made your profile page yours, along with the ability to change the actual layout - probably the only reason many of my generation have at least a bit of HTML knowledge.

It was also good for artists: a band could break a new song on Myspace and within seconds people around the world could be playing it on their profile. Of course, if you were an artist yourself and trying to get some exposure, you could do the same.

So whatever Facebook has planned, I hope it remembers that, despite its missteps, Myspace had a couple of decent ideas when it came to artist engagement. But really, I just want the ability to blast obscure Joy Division b-sides at anyone who visits my profile.

Hugh Langley

Hugh Langley is the ex-News Editor of TechRadar. He had written for many magazines and websites including Business Insider, The Telegraph, IGN, Gizmodo, Entrepreneur Magazine, WIRED (UK), TrustedReviews, Business Insider Australia, Business Insider India, Business Insider Singapore, Wareable, The Ambient and more.

Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider covering Google and Alphabet, and has the unfortunate distinction of accidentally linking the TechRadar homepage to a rival publication.