Spotify the social network: A sneak peek at the unreleased follow features and Web profiles

Spotify the social network: A sneak peek at the unreleased follow features and Web profiles

After teasing a heavy dose of discovery and social features, Spotify has kept quiet in regards to when these updates will come to the public. Luckily, TNW managed to get into the service’s beta test, and is able to share with you a sneak peek at Spotify’s soon-to-launch social features. Let’s dive right in:

Spotify’s People tab will be replaced by the new Follow tab, which features basic profile details and recommendations. As far as Facebook is concerned, Spotify’s integration had previously been (largely) limited to the right sidebar, but now it’s easier than ever to connect with Facebook friends and follow them separately on Spotify.

It’s noteworthy, however, that Facebook now serves as a starting point — not a core element. Facebook independence is particularly important for Spotify, as relying solely on Facebook has recently proven to be a terrible idea.

Here’s what Spotify’s People tab previously showed for me. Yes, it was useless:

Back to the Follow tab, as shown in the top screenshot: My Facebook friends using Spotify have been highlighted randomly, and below it, Spotify has recommended musicians as well. The service also decided to auto-follow musicians I have starred.

The New Profiles

Here’s what my profile looks like now, followed by the original design for comparison’s sake.

Note the addition of Recent Activity and follower counts.

Friends and musicians are now integrated together and may be able to interact with each other, recreating a bit of Myspace’s old magic from its prime. Here’s what the musician profiles look like:

The above artist, Kendrick Lamar, was recommended to me in the right sidebar and features a verified check mark similar to what you’d find on Twitter. For most other artists, that mark wasn’t yet present.

Web Profiles!?

Lastly, after some digging, we discovered that these profiles contain links which reveal Spotify’s plans to launch public Web profiles. For now, they’re barren, but we’re expecting to see recent artists, followers and other details upon launch. Take a look at mine here.

The Rest

Unfortunately, we’re unable to share anything new in regards to Spotify’s upcoming discovery features, but what we’ve seen looks quite interesting. You can take a peek at what we’ve learned so far here.

As with the introduction of Facebook integration, Spotify users may temporarily revolt over these new features, but it’s important to remember that music is inherently social. Musicians craft their work to share it with the world, and that’s something the Web and connected applications do best. Now, instead of burning a mix and passing it onto a friend, you’ll be able to share playlists with thousands.

This move could place Spotify in a completely new role, as a service which connects artists with fans, and lets record labels market new talent directly to listeners. Interestingly enough, musicians and individual users won’t be the only ones allowed on Spotify soon: brands like Esquire are already showing up as recommendations.

Yes, now the world knows I like to listen to Ke$ha at the gym, but they’ll also notice I have a thing for Ben Kweller, Sigur Ros and Mum.

Goodbye privacy. Goodbye piracy. Music is going full social.

Image via khrawlings / Flickr

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