When installed, it demanded a working log in to Facebook or
Twitter and permission to post on the account. “We would like fans
to share the content through social networking sites,” a Jay-Z
spokeswoman said by e-mail. (E-mail to Samsung Mobile’s customer
service address for the app was returned as undeliverable
throughout Wednesday.) But the app was more coercive.
In the days before the album’s release through Samsung, the app
promised to display lyrics — with a catch. “Unlocking” the lyrics
required a post on Facebook or Twitter. I used Twitter, where
hitting the “Tweet” button brought up a canned message: “I just
unlocked a new lyric ‘Crown’ in the JAY Z Magna Carta app. See
them first. http://smsng.us/MCHG2 #MagnaCarta.” The message could
be altered, but something had to be sent. No post, no lyrics —
for every song. Users were forced to post again and again. And
frankly, a lyric that is going to show up almost immediately on
the Internet isn’t much of a bribe for spamming your friends.
I’m not surprised Samsung would go for this, but I am that Jay-Z would.