Facebook limits the word "listen" for applications

If you're a developer creating a music streaming application for Facebook, you're going to have a hard time using the word "listen" in the description of your application. In fact, it's easier to use the word "play" than "listen". Facebook has it set up, so you tell the users of your app to "play" music, as opposed to "listen" to music, unless you have a special relationship with the rights holders of the music being streamed.


According to AllFacebook, a spokesperson from Facebook said via e-mail, "Developers can submit any type of action for their app but we have a separate process in place for “listen” actions where we need to check that the developer has appropriate relationships in place with rights owners. We are updating our developer tool to make the submission process clearer over the coming days. In the meantime, interested music developers can reach out to musicdevelopers@fb.com with questions." When Facebook denies an application submission that uses the word "listen", the denial message says that the word "listen" is reserved for certain partners.

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Popular music streaming applications, Spotify and Rdio, are able to use the word "listen" in the descriptions of their applications. However, smaller and newer developers, like Colin Costello, who created MusicTalks.com was denied the use of the word "listen" for what he thinks is an 'inferior' word to "play". He says that Facebook is favouring the bigger apps, like Rdio and Spotify because not only had the Open Graph been open to them for longer, but also by denying rights to certain words to newer developers, Facebook is stifling competition. He makes the argument that if it truly is an issue of the rights to the music, developers should not even be able to use the word "play" for their applications.

Published Date: Feb 24, 2012 10:05 am | Updated Date: Feb 24, 2012 10:05 am