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Facebook to allow users to share TV content

Facebook is developing new features that will allow users to share television news clips and entertainment shows as well as music. It wants the new media to be as easy to handle as posting vacation photos or playing games, the New York Times reported.

Facebook is apparently in discussions with various content owners about the plan, which also would allow the content owners to monitor the use of their material. Facebook has had no comment on the plans, however chief executive Marc Zuckerberg spoke of his company’s plans in a presentation last week at the eG8 technology conference in France.

“Listening to music is something that people do with their friends,” Zuckerberg said. “Music, TV, news books — those types of things I think people just naturally do with their friends. I hope we can play a part in enabling those new companies to get built, and companies that are out there producing this great content to become more social.”

Facebook has long tried to persuade media companies to use its data about connections between people to make their services more “social.” In France, Zuckerberg mentioned Netflix as one of the companies that had been in talks with Facebook.

The “Times” reported that Facebook was in discussions with several online music services, including the European company Spotify, to develop a tab or widget that would display a user’s most-played songs and provide an easy way for friends to hear them. The company also wants to do the same with video clips, including news.

Facebook currently has nearly 700 million users. Analysts and media executives told the newspaper that Facebook’s move into media was part of its ambition to become a hub for all types of activities on the Internet. As Facebook sees it, people increasingly define themselves through the media they consume, the Times reported.

According to sources within Facebook, various media partners would each have a part in a continuous feed displaying the video a user is watching or the songs they are listening to. Friends could then gain access to the same content with a click. By using outside partners, the Times said, Facebook itself would not license any content from record companies or television networks.