Facebook to turn profile pages into entertainment hubs

19 Sep 2011

At its annual developers shindig F8, the social networking giant Facebook is this week expected to take the wraps off a new service that combines music, TV, games and movies into an entertainment hub on users’ profile pages.

Facebook is set to unveil in San Francisco on Thursday the new service that will convert the standard user’s profile page into a more comprehensive zone for sharing digital media.

For months now, there have been rumours of Facebook striking a deal with Spotify to create a cloud music platform that would give it ample ammunition to compete against Apple’s forthcoming iCloud service.

According to the New York Times, the vision goes further than that and will involve a number of partners, as well as Spotify.

The idea is that users will be easily able to share music, TV shows and movies via their profile pages on Facebook.

Facebook wants to be the next-generation media hub

For months now, there have been examples of Facebook’s intentions, from live streaming of the Batman movie The Dark Knight, talk of video rental services and the recent live streaming of the first kick match of the FA Cup between Ascot United and Wembley FC on Budweiser’s fan page.

In recent weeks, it emerged that 10 episodes of the BBC car show Top Gear will be available for rent via a video-on-demand app that would let fans rent the episodes for 48 hours.

I suspect these are perhaps just a taste of what’s coming and Facebook has been working feverishly behind the scenes with a slew of different media houses, brands and entertainment platforms to develop itself into a conduit for digital media consumption.

All will be revealed at F8 on Thursday, but you can’t help but wonder where all this is heading. Will your profile page one day just be another channel on your TV?

With ever-present wireless broadband, will your profile page on your smartphone be your entire record collection and video shop?

Exciting times lie ahead.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years