The social listening revolution is upon us. As TechCrunch reports, Facebook is rolling out a new feature that allows users to hear the music their friends are hearing. Here’s how it works: status updates and chat windows will be tricked out with “Listen With” buttons that, when pressed, will open a chat room for the original listener — who becomes the DJ — and everyone who’s tuned in to what she’s streaming on Spotify or (eventually) Rdio. Facebook will cap the number of users in any given room at 50.
If this sounds a whole lot like Turntable.fm to you, well, that’s because it is. TechCrunch predicts that this development “will force Turntable.fm to concentrate on public listening rooms and celebrity DJs, as simultaneous listening with friends will now be Facebook’s domain.” Business Insider is less delicate in its analysis of the conflict between the two companies: “Facebook Just Fired A Cannonball At One Of New York’s Hottest Startups” reads the headline on its piece. Considering that we learned, about six weeks ago, that Turntable’s traffic had declined sharply since the summer, we have to wonder whether the startup is in for a rocky future.