Facebook is planning to integrate Spotify and Apple Music into its Messenger service, the company's Vice President of Messaging Products David Marcus announced at the annual F8 developer conference on Wednesday. Native support for the two music streaming services will be deployed "very soon," Marcus said, though he didn't clarify on the release window for the functionality. Spotify and Apple Music integration into Messenger will be developed using Chat Extensions, Messenger Platform's latest feature that aims to turn Facebook's instant messaging (IM) solution into a standalone ecosystem capable of running fully fledged mobile apps. The initial version of the functionality will be focused on its social aspects, i.e. sharing of songs, albums, and playlists, Marcus revealed. Once the feature is deployed, Messenger users will be able to access Spotify and Apple Music's databases within the app, search for a listing and share it with their contacts without ever leaving the mobile app.
Messenger's support for Apple Music and Spotify will also allow users to listen to music directly through the app, though it's currently unclear how that experience will work and whether it will be customizable. Naturally, users interested in sharing and listening to songs hosted by Spotify and Apple Music through Messenger will have to register an account with those services. Given the nature of this announcement, the Menlo Park-based social media giant is probably planning to integrate more music streaming services into Messenger in the future, though the company disclosed no particular details on the matter.
The decision to provide native support for Spotify and Apple Music to Messenger users is yet another step in Facebook's endeavor to turn its popular IM service into a standalone platform with the goal of improving its user retention and acquisition rates. While many other messaging apps like Viber and Telegram also started mimicking that strategy in recent years, Facebook is still enjoying more success with it than everyone else, likely thanks to the fact that Messenger was already a widely popular app even when it was just a communications solution. An update on the app's support for Spotify and Apple Music is expected to follow in the coming weeks.