Stream vs. Share (the new Facebook)

Last week everyone shared things online through things such as the Facebook “like” button.  Starting last Thursday, everyone is now going to start streaming them with a new opt in functionality of all “verbs” on the new Facebook. Facebook held their F8 experience last week and according to MG Siegler, changed the game.  I called it an “experience” because they had Andy Samberg open the show and it was quite a production.

With last weeks announcement, the “game change” that happened is that previously Facebook had websites including “Like” buttons all over the web.  In a move that I commend as extremely smart, they have people “liking” content both on and offsite, which in turn puts more content into the Facebook news feed, then making the content seen by more people, hoping for more “likes”.  It is/was a Möbius strip of activity that resulted in more activity and attention.

Now, they have included a “always on” setting which takes your actions from apps, sites, and services and automatically ports it into your news feed. Although its not the same main news feed, its now a smaller, faster, news feed inside your main feed on the right hand side (yo dawg!)

The actions though are now well beyond “like” and include basically anything you can think of.

You will now be able to “watch” content, “read” a magazine, “listen” to some music, etc..

But the catch is, everything now goes into the mini feed that is a firehose of activity.

As RWW said (emphasis theirs)

Be forewarned though, with these apps you’re automatically sending anything you read into your Facebook news feed. No “read” button. No clicking a “like” or “recommend” button. As soon as you click through to an article you are deemed to have “read” it and all of your Facebook friends and subscribers will hear about it.

I did this myself with Rdio + Facebook and you can see the following results

Interestingly this activity came from my Android (using Rdio) while I was at the gym.  Embarrassing or not, the world of activity streaming is now here.

The firehose feed is interesting because if you interact with content streaming by, Facebook sees this as intent and automatically upgrades how important it thinks this content is.  I see the firehose as actually “training” the main Facebook feed, which is also interesting because you will be seeing content that is more relevant to you as well.  What is interesting here is that users are training the feed with firehose intent, and marketers will now be able to target towards this new streaming activity.

I see a ton of Spotify and Rdio activity right now in my firehose facebook feed, but as developers dig in, I expect to see much more content from third party apps, and expect to get bombarded with the initial requests to “stream” from apps I use.


  • You nailed it Eric. This is a big change and one that’s made me revisit what apps I’ve authorized on Facebook. Amazing how much house cleaning there was for me to do:

  • I did the same! I had apps from YEARS ago I had to delete.

  • First of all Eric, Bruno Mars? 😉

    Great post, I have been thinking about the positive effects (music discovery made personal and easy?), the negative (overwhelming amount of info people will want to tune out from), and how we can utilize this from a label and artist point of view. Will write a companion post shortly.

  • I knew it would be embarrassing.

    I think the most exciting thing is that you can now target these songs with Indie groups and show people your bands that are interested in “similar” music

  • When you say “target these songs with Indie groups” what do you mean exactly?

  • Like bruno mars? Try this!

  • Lee S Jones

    I personally don’t like the firehose approach. Describing it as “interesting” is very diplomatic :). I’d prefer more fore-warning on the Facebook side. For example, I logged into Spotify w/my facebook ID zto keep things simple. Next thing I know, all my friends see that I’ve been listening to Madonna (who is great by the way). The point is, facebook should have a better notification dashboard or control panel to manage this type of crap.

  • Yeah its a lot of info. But it’s working for spotify 🙂