Facebook’s f8 conference is coming. Here’s what to expect

Facebook’s big f8 conference is now less than two days away, and it’s shaping up to be one of the hottest tickets in tech. The social networking giant is in the midst of what Mark Zuckerberg has called “Launching Season 2011,” and Facebook is sure to have a few splashy news items lined up to keep the crowd at the one-day conference in San Francisco happy. Here are three key things to expect from f8:

  • The Facebook music dashboard
    As Om was the first to report way back in June, Facebook is planning to launch a wide-scale music platform at this year’s f8. The social networking site is set to add a new “Music” tab along with the tabs it already has for Photos, Friends, Places, Groups, Games, and the like. The company has been in serious discussions for months with a bevy of partners in the music industry in the hopes of making Facebook a top place for people to find music and share it with their friends. Though the company has reportedly scaled back plans to let people listen to music directly within the Facebook interface, the music platform is still very likely to be a significant announcement on Thursday.
  • Reading news on Facebook
    The new revamp of Facebook’s user interface to make the site more like “your own personal newspaper” may well be priming users for a Facebook that contains breaking news from both your social circles and the world at large. Earlier this summer, Forbes’ Jeff Bercovici reported that Facebook is working with a number of news outlets including CNN and the Washington Post to produce editions that can be read within the social networking site. Perhaps as part of this, Facebook is set to announce new publishing partnerships at the upcoming f8 conference, according to AllThingsD’s Liz Gannes, who reported this week that the conference is operating under the tagline of “Read. Watch. Listen.”
  • Big names
    Although f8 is billed as a “developer conference,” Facebook on Tuesday announced a solid lineup of speakers┬áthat will interest attendees beyond the hacker crowd. Among the speakers confirmed for f8 are MTV founder and current Clear Channel (s CCO) executive Bob Pittman; former MySpace (s NWS) CEO and current Zynga executive Owen Van Natta; Turntable.fm founder Billy Chasen; Spotify CEO Daniel Ek; Greylock Partners’ David Sze; and, of course, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

GigaOM will be reporting from f8 in San Francisco all day Thursday, so please stay tuned here for more news.