Music fans and Twitter fans alike received good news yesterday. Announced on the company’s blog, Twitter released a new music service, Twitter #music. The service will recommend tracks based on who you are following on the social network. The songs can be played directly via services such as Rdio, Spotify and iTunes. Twitter's #music will also display what your friends are currently listening to as well as suggestions from artists. It uses other social networks like Facebook to include music recommendations.
According to the Guardian UK, Twitter has launched what it described as a 21st century version of the mixtape. To make the service possible, the company has joined forces with three music companies, Apple iTunes for downloads and streaming services Spotify and Rdio. Launched yesterday, the service is available on the #Music site and as an app for the Apple iPhone or iPad. It is currently only available in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. According to Twitter’s blog, the company will bring the service to Android as well as to more countries.
As reported on BBC, many companies in the past have tried to tap into the potential of social recommendation for music. One of these companies was Apple. Apple’s music service Ping was a service built into its iTunes software that promoted music it thought users would like. At the launch, Steve Jobs himself stated that he thought it would be very popular since 160 million people could switch it on immediately. Unfortunately for Apple, Ping was closed in September 2012.
Reported in the Guardian UK, the move is part of an effort by Twitter to reposition itself as an entertainment hub online, bringing it closer to the multimedia social network that Facebook has become over the past two years. In my opinion, I’m not too sure this service really adds a lot of value. Firstly, I don’t really care about the music preferences of those I follow on Twitter. Also, if I were following an artist, wouldn’t they be tweeting about the songs they like and what they just released? I guess time will tell how many people find #music useful. Would you use it?
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