New “Listen” and “Read” Buttons Appear on Facebook’s Ticker

Some users are seeing an interface adjustment on Facebook’s Ticker that makes it easier to start consuming the media that you see your friends engaging with. News articles and songs in the Ticker now include buttons that allow you to start reading or listening when you click on them. First, a newspaper or music note icon appears to the right of the Ticker story, then the word “Read” or “Listen” text appears if you mouse over. Clicking on them takes you to the article or song.

The buttons create a simpler way for users to quickly respond. That further generates activity in the Ticker, and could help these types of media gain new viral growth.

The current interface — what the rest of us are seeing — only opens a window showing a set of information from the app that generated the activity story. Spotify, for example, shows a few other songs in addition to the one you’re listening to, as well as other information.

The Ticker, launched at f8, already highlights a variety of actions from your friends, including “listening” to songs and “reading” articles. The Open Graph actions, available for third-party apps, builds on the news feed by sharing what users do in the background, not what they explicitly decide to share. All that’s required is the user’s initial acceptance of the app’s permissions requests.