The New Facebook: Why Forking out $5 for Spotify is worth it

I was listening to a playlist on Spotify today and noticed a little time bar pop up on my Spotify player. It notified me that there were 18 minutes left. Eighteen minutes?! What was going to happen? 18 minutes till my death? 18 minutes until my 40 day fast is over (I wish)? 18 minutes until they announce LOST returns to ABC (I also wish)? No.There were 18 minutes left until my free 10 listening hours per month ended. *Insert long “NO!”* Spotify is radically changing the way I listen to music, and now they tell me I can only listen for 10 hours a month? What is a guy supposed to do? Weigh the pros and cons.

Spotify is now integrated with the new Facebook and so are many other music players. What is unique about Spotify is Facebook promotes them as best, and in my opinion, Spotify is.

Not everything in life is free, and after a stupid hoax last week that Facebook would charge, paying a monthly fee for Spotify is no big deal. Lets face it, we are heading to a paperless, CD-less world. Everything will be digital. Why keep on purchasing album after album, each for $7-$15 a pop, when you can listen to unlimted music with no ads and no time or skip limits?

Spotify presents two payment options: Unlimited and Premium. Unlimited is $4.99 and lets you listen to all the music you want with no ads. Premium is $9.99 a month and lets you do the same as well as listen to music offline, stream on mobile devices, and play some songs in higher-definition. My thoughts are that they will change their plan in the coming months to allow mobile streaming for the Unlimited plan users. Why? Because we all have smart phones now that can stream music.

I expect once people begin to find time-limits on any music app they decide to use on Facebook, there will be mass whining and grumbling. We have been spoiled and it is time we stop feeling so entitled to everything, and work for it. $5 is a Starbucks Coffee or a Meal Deal at Zaxbys. I’ll take listening to every song in the world over a Cafe Latte any day.

Spotify is the real deal. I can see what my friends and listening to and create my own listener following. Once I saw that friends were listening to the new NeedtoBreathe and Switchfoot albums I clicked on what song they were playing and started listening with them. I probably would have never listened to Switchfoot’s new album had I not seen that a dozen of my friends were listening to it. This is social music-sharing at its finest. This is where we are heading. This is why I am forking out $5 a month.

The Timeline: Facebooks New Yearbook of Your Life

This is the timeline bar. With it you can scroll throughout all the years of your life. From birth to death (when it comes).

Facebook has changed the way we see each other. No longer is there a profile page, instead there is what they have called the “Timeline.” The timeline is now your story displayed for all to see. From life’s first breath to final days, your legacy will not be forgotten.

So what happened to our profile page and wall? They are still around, but they are now your timeline. All posts and status updates that were on your wall now display vertically and by significance. You can remove the conversation with JoAnn that is not relevant to the overall story of who you are. You can also use the photo that Mark posted from your camping trip to Montana and make that a “top story” or a highlight in your timeline. (more…)

Music Makes Me Lose Control: Facebook’s Dive into the Music World

I’ve had the opportunity to get my hands on the new Facebook Music. Many user profiles have already been updated with the option to add music. Simply look at the navigation bar under the “apps” section. Click the music option. A new page will appear to let you see what music is trending and what music you have liked before. (more…)

What Do the New Facebook Changes Mean for Your Ministry?

This post is aimed specifically at the youth leader, pastor, and the influential Christian. Facebook today has jumped into a whole new world of being social. As a person who is involved in the ministry you have been hesitant in the past to post pictures, videos, “likes” and other updates on who you are when you are not under the steeple. Facebook is making this harder and easier at the same time.

Some of the new things announced Thursday at the F8 Conference, Facebook’s “Tell-All” event, were the OpenGraph integrations, timeline, and newly upgraded apps. No longer can you click on an item in privacy, if JoAnne is listening to “Desperado” by the Eagles, Jessie Grace who is in your 6th grade small group will see.

Do not worry, privacy and sharing settings are all still there and are all becoming easier for you to filter what you do not want others to know. But, the point Facbook is trying to make, and where we are heading is that who you are will come out somehow and someway.

As a Christian, this is accountability and discipline at its finest. You can tell it not to show you are playing Farmville, listening to the Eagles, and reading Mary Higgins Clark’s bestseller, however, Facebook has presented two thoughts on why you should not keep these activities from the world. 1. Facebook is integrated around you and what you are doing so that people can be inspired. 2. Others who are with you when you are doing this activity can post that you are with them.

You are probably saying that this is not fair, and it may not be acceptable for someone who wants to just see what others are doing, but we are called to be disciplined as followers of Christ. Who you are and what you are struggling with will come out eventually. Facebook will best reveal the things that lurk in your heart through their timeline and its pattern integration.

Timeline will show all activities you are doing. You will be able to customize this as much as you want. You can show music you have listened to, books you have read, trails you have run, and food you have eaten. Lets say that you have been listening to music and reading material you should not have. If you are listening to or reading the content on a website or app connected to your email or Facebook, Facebook will begin to establish a pattern of what you are doing.

Bob is a dentist. He tells people to eat healthy, exercise daily, listen to motivational music and watch innocent movies. Everyone loves Bob, but what Facebook is starting to show is that Bob eats McDonalds about four times a week, has not run a mile in two weeks, listens to Eminem’s newest album and watched Saw V yesterday. Bob apparently is not practicing what he is preaching.

So what does this mean for you? It means that this is your time. This is the time for you to come clean and check if you are living a double-life. You may be outraged at Facebook, but know that even if Facebook crumbled, this is where we are heading.

Are you who you say you are?