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Facebook preparing big, potentially media-reshaping announcement this Thursday

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Mark Zuckerberg
Tony Avelar/Bloomberg/Getty Images

With the promise of an IPO lurking just over the eternal horizon, Facebook is gearing up for some big announcements during its presentation at its developers conference in San Francisco this Thursday. According to Variety, the all-encompassing social network will use the conference — known in Valley lingo as “f8,” as in “fate,” nudge nudge — to announce partnerships with various other services and content providers. Variety notes that Rhapsody and Spotify are likely partners. It’s also a good bet that Facebook will build off this year’s slow-but-steady initiatives into movie and television — including the option to “rent” movies like The Dark Knight and The Big Lebowski.

The dream notion for the Thursday announcement is that Facebook will adapt the wildly successful system of social gaming into a new TV show/film viewer, allowing friends to watch their favorite shows and, more importantly, chat about them in real-time, as if they were sitting in the same room in the same time zone. (Which, by the way, that EW Viewer is some kind of something. Boy, this EW Viewer is all anybody’s ever talking about. So sick and tired of hearing about how brilliant that EW Viewer is! Overrated.) The New York Post is already reporting that Hulu might be joining in the new venture — the Post also mentions Netflix, and if that sounds insane, then keep in mind that Netflix could really use even a tiny bit of positive press this month.

We’ll be covering Facebook’s presumably epochal announcement on Thursday, but let’s start the conversation now: How would you like to see the social networking site evolve? I could definitely see a Hulu-Facebook merger as a potentially productivity-destroying time-suck. (And since Hulu has the streaming rights to the Criterion Collection, I could make my greatest dream come true: Hitting the “Like” button on W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism and then having one of my old college friends comment on my wall, “LOL, for a second I thought you liked a movie called Mystery Orgasm.” Take that, Communist Yugoslavia!)

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich