Music Marketing

Why Facebook’s New Messaging System Could Hurt Music Marketing

image from Yesterday, Facebook announced their own "modern messaging system" that combines email, text messaging, and instant messages into a single stream that founder Mark Zuckerberg says goes well "beyond email".  The new service, which will debut Monday with an iPhone app and roll out over the next few months, mimics the behavior of teens who are already abandoning conventional email to converse across multiple platforms in short bursts. But Facebook Messaging could also make social music marketing more difficult. Here's why:

Messages May Be Filtered OutWhile a email address is offered, it's not required. Whatever the source of email, Facebook promises to use "Friends", "Likes" and other clues to filter email. So a fan who signed up for a band's email updates, could find their emails automatically shuttled into an "other" folder if they have not also friended the artist on Facebook.

Facebook says that their system will get smarter over time, so that people that aren’t friends on Facebook but communicate often will show up in the stream. How repeated one way communications like email newsletters will be filtered or allowed to pass into the users main stream is unclear

Too Much Of The Same – A major selling point of the Facebook's system is that it unifies email, SMS, IM and Facebook messaging into a single stream somewhat like Google's failed Wave.  But that means that artist and marketers who automatically post the same updates to multiple channels risk overloading users of Facebook Messaging.

Is There A Solution? – It's important not to judge a system that no one has used, and its likely that some of Facebook's new features will actually enhance the artist/fan relationship.  But a first look at Facebook Messages should encourage artists and music marketers to step up their friending efforts now to avoid flitering later and to closely monitor future developments.


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  1. I think the bigger potential detriment, beyond the automated filtering, is the mental separation of the personal inbox from the professional/commercial. Getting marketing messages into the personal (Facebook) inbox is going to be increasingly difficult. That said, it could work out to the artists’ advantage if people only see their marketing messages when they’re in the mood to read through several impersonal messages.
    As with most technology, it’s only going to make us better, more creative marketers.

  2. See, this is where I agree with T-Bone.
    If you’re a musician, fretting about new Facebook features is not the best use of your time. Make good music. Have a friendly and approachable presence on and off the web. Keep a consistent theme across your musical, visual and social styles. How to use any feature on any social network should follow from that.

  3. Agreed. This new service could elevate the importance of a single message. If Facebook does a good job of making sure users are getting only messages they really care about, then there will be a heightened expectation level when checking your inbox.
    As a 22 year old I hardly check my mail box because there’s RARELY anything of importance to me in it. I check my voicemail a little more because maybe just maybe there might be a diamond in the rough. I check my email eagerly multiple times a day because there’s often important messages. And I get most excited about Facebook notifications because 95% of the time it is something interesting about me or someone I care about. If a marketing message was slipped in there every now and then I would be a little pissed but if it happened less than in my email I would still enjoy my fb notifications more.

  4. I believe music marketers will not be affected seriously by the new face book email and messaging system. I think music marketers will adjust and make their marketing efforts stronger by creating more interesting content and providing member friends with better resources via email. Email is a more personal approach which I find works alot better when the my products and services are isolated in email marketing.

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