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Open Graph and Music, a Year Later

November 6, 2012ByLincoln Hochberg

The launch of Open Graph last year enabled app developers to re-think how people discover, share and consume music. Most important, many developers have brought what was traditionally only possible offline - music discovery through friends - into all types of music apps on web and mobile.

Since launching Open Graph last September, 62.6 million songs have been played 22 billion times -- that's about 210,000 years worth of music. This is happening across all types of music apps, from apps that are tailoring music to your tastes, to apps that recommend music based on the time of day, where you are and what you're doing. Here are some music apps taking off.

  • 8tracks: The social internet radio app enables people to select play lists based on mood, genre or artist. 8tracks users generate four million Open Graph shares weekly, resulting in 65 million story impressions, with Facebook now ranking as one of 8tracks' major sources of referral traffic.
  • BandPage: BandPage enables musicians to manage their bios, music, videos, photos and shows across the web. People who visit the website of their favorite artists using BandPage can "favorite" a song or share that they are "going" or "want to go" to that artist's concert. The number of Open Graph actions shared by people through BandPage has grown by 3x in the last few months.
  • KKBOX: People who use Taiwan-based KKBOX can listen to more than 1.5 million songs via iPhone, iPad and Android and share their listening activity with friends. The app also provides lyrics so people can sing along with their favorite tunes. Over 50 million actions are shared back to timeline each month, and over 50% of new users sign in via Facebook.
  • Saavn: The India-based mobile and desktop app has experienced exponential growth since launching in December of last year, powering active Facebook-connected users in more than 200 countries. Saavn has generated nearly 2.3 billion impressions, daily referral traffic from Facebook has grown 30x and monthly music streams have grown by over 200%.
  • Songza: People who use Songza can choose curated play lists based on mood or activities. In a recent 30 day period, Songza saw 1 million referrals from Facebook, up from 650,000 the month before, with Facebook-connected users listening about 20% longer than other users. Songza has also upgraded to the latest Facebook SDK for iOS to take advantage of the most recent features.
  • SoundTracking: The web and mobile app lets people share favorite songs by identifying the music playing around them and enabling them to share the song with a photo, location, and comment. SoundTracking's monthly active users are up over 50% from last month's.

In addition to these companies, we continue to see growth from companies like Deezer, iheartradio and Spotify. For example, Deezer has seen the number of people using their app triple since the beginning of the year, and they are now adding 50,000 new users per day.

Best Practices

Start with Facebook Login up front: With a base of people who are able to share content with friends from day one, developers are set up to double down on the social experience. Songza uses Facebook Login on its desktop homepage, and 8tracks uses Facebook Login for mobile, to easily introduce people into personalized and social experiences.

Highlight friend activity inside the app: Connecting people enables developers to benefit from increased sharing and virality through news feed, ticker and timeline. And introducing social relevance in the app experience makes people want to come back and keep track of what their friends are listening to. For example, SoundTracking allows people to view friends' activity in the app to easily discover what songs they have tracked.

Ensure lasting value for content: Developers should think about the aggregations and patterns apps can present on timeline to bring long-term value to people and their friends who will revisit and reflect upon data over time. For example, 8tracks creates timeline aggregations displaying a person's favorited tracks. SoundTracking presents the timeline of all tracked songs.

Enable explicit sharing: Developers should enable people to share their affinity for artists, play lists, stations and songs. Explicit actions - such as creating a play list, loving a song or station or wanting an album - create engaging stories. For example, Saavn enables people to explicitly share play lists people create with their friends.

For more on getting started building or improving music apps, please see our guidelines, best practices and tutorial.