FanRx brings Spotify play button to Facebook tab apps

Social media software company FanRx today added an option for artists to embed their songs from Spotify on Facebook tab applications using the company’s free Facebook Page Builder.

This feature is possible as a result of the new Spotify “play button” announced today. Web publishers who include a short piece of code on their sites can display a button that lets registered Spotify users begin streaming music instantly. FanRx, formerly known as BandRx, was a launch partner and so is the first to bring the functionality to Facebook tabs.

Artists choose which songs to feature, then when users click the play button, the song begins playing in the Spotify desktop app — launching the player if it is not already open. Users who do not have Spotify yet will be prompted to download the app and create an account using their Facebook login. (See how it works here.)

Spotify has a free, ad-supported service, as well as subscription tiers up to $9.99 per month for unlimited streaming and additional features. Users must have a Facebook account to join Spotify. The app prompts users to share their listening activity on Facebook through Open Graph integration, but it is not a requirement, and there is an “incognito mode” to temporarily disable sharing.

Since September 2011‘s launch of Open Graph, Spotify songs have been playable from Facebook News Feed, Ticker and Timeline. Users can start and pause music while they browse the social network, and even have an option to listen to a song simultaneously with friends. On artists’ pages, Facebook highlights tracks your friends have listened to.

Now with FanRx, artists can customize which songs to include on their tab applications. Although page tabs are declining in use since Facebook removed the default landing tab option with the Timeline redesign, it is still possible to point ads to specific tabs or share direct links in posts to fans. We’ve seen a number of band-focused applications trying to innovate to maintain relevance.

Spotify opened its platform to third-party developers in November 2011. We could see a similar platform-on-a-platform model from Instagram, which has some APIs available in beta. For example, users can take photos using the Hipstamatic mobile app, then publish them through Instagram, which can then share to Facebook. With Spotify, developers like FanRx can include song widgets in their apps so that users can play music from Spotify, which can publish back to Facebook. The social network might watch Spotify’s growth as a platform and take cues for how it might want to handle Instagram since it acquired the company on Monday.