Updated: Facebook has confirmed the news, with details about additional upgrades to its gifting platform. In addition to Lala-powered songs, users will now be able to send gifts branded by the NBA, Major League Soccer, as well as various college teams.
Original: It seems like the rumor mill about Facebook launching a music platform starts churning violently right around this time every year. Last October, Facebook was in talks with the four majors for some kind of non-equity, non-licensed song-sharing deal. In October 2007, the company was supposedly launching a MySpace-like service that would let bands create their own pages — complete with MP3 sales — but that didn’t pan out.
Now the reports are back — this time with intel coming from the NYT. Sources tell the NYT that Facebook will soon allow users to buy tracks as virtual gifts; the music will be supplied by streaming and sharing service Lala.com.
The transactions are supported by Facebook’s existing virtual payments platform, with users able to send “Web songs” as gifts that their friends can play an unlimited number of times online, for roughly 10-cents, or one Facebook credit. For full price — 10 credits, or about one U.S. dollar — users would be able to download the track for play on a portable device.