Pandora on Wednesday announced the arrival of some new sharing features for the service. In the past, you have been able to share Pandora stations, but you were forced to do it via e-mail instead of taking advantage of one of the modern social networks. Now, Pandora is enabling station and song sharing via much more efficient means: Facebook and Twitter.
These features work pretty much exactly how you would think they would. Clicking on the Facebook icon pops out a Facebook window, allowing you to share either the current song or station. The Twitter integration works in much the same way, enabling you to tweet out a link to the current song or station. When you click on the station link that someone has shared, it whisks you away to their Pandora station and lets you listen. However, the song links only go to a landing page that gives you a 30-second preview and an option to create a station based on that song. Oddly, this page does not give the user the "Buy from Amazon/iTunes" option that Pandora's main app features.
In addition, Pandora is bringing more attention to its station-gifting feature. This feature basically allows users to create an entirely new station, pair it with an eCard and send it off to someone. Pandora is essentially trying to create the modern version of the mixtape. This feature has been around for a little while, but it has gained little attention to this point. The more prominent placing in Pandora's music player may change that.
These new sharing features should boost usage of Pandora. Tapping into the previously untouched power of Facebook's social graph and Twitter can only be a good thing. Pandora is just coming off of reaching an agreement on new royalty rates for music this summer and it's working toward its goal of being profitable by the end of the year. They're also facing some stiff competition from companies like Slacker. Pandora still has a long road ahead, but opening up its service to sharing on Facebook and Twitter is definitely a step in the right direction.