Facebook has increased the pressure on social-networking rival by launching a its new music section for bands in a tie-up with iTunes.

The new section lets bands create their own profiles, making songs, photos and music videos available to fans. The service also lets acts sell tickets and merchandise through a deal with the Music Today service.

Tracks can be streamed and Facebook is providing a link to iTunes in order that acts can offer songs for sale to fans visiting their pages.

Facebook denizens can become fans of their chosen artists, can rate and review the music and can choose to receive messages from acts.

100 artists have already set-up Facebook profiles to help launch the service, the first draft includes Coldplay, the Dave Matthews Band, Cee-Lo, Gnarls Barkley and The Decemberists.

Facebook has also introduced a wave of applications bands can deploy on page, including tools for the creation of unique Facebook pages; a Flash Player; a Music Player; a Discography tool, a Music Shop and bulletin sending software, iCast.