Music on Facebook News Feed






Product Design Lead, Patent Inventor




In January of 2015, both the Facebook mobile app and the web product had an embarrassing lack of support for artists and musicians. I wanted to change that, so I joined Michael Cerda and Holly Ormseth in developing the product strategy for music on Facebook.

It was impossible to share music in a meaningful way on Facebook because you couldn't listen to it, so my hypothesis was that being about to play music would lead to more music being shared. Our product roadmap started with “activating” links shared from streaming music providers (Spotify, Apple Music, etc), allowing inline playback.

The goal was simple: Make it easier to hear the song or album that inspired people to share.

While it wasn't the viral success that we had hoped —and our small sub-team working on music was too small (underfunded) to take on music rights and record labels— we successfully proved that there was a healthy appetite for sharing both music and rich media content in News Feed.

  • Music on Facebook News Feed

Moving objects were unusual in the Facebook app, so I had to arrive at a smooth visualization that “felt” like 45 RPM spiritually while balancing the noise of News Feed. This spinning interaction was patented and functioned in the app for over 5 years.

If you happened to scroll away while a song is playing, a tiny music player appeared in the bottom right. It was possible to tap-and-drag this to each of the 4 corners of the screen.

Similar to a video attachment, tapping on the music player or link unfurl opened a modal view that gave access to a progress bar.

For the desktop browser experience, I designed an experience that allows a rich preview of a whole album