Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and Nick Summers is a technology journalist for The Next Web. He writes on all sorts of topics, although he has a passion for gadgets, apps and video games in particular. You can reach him on Twitter, circle him on Google+ and connect with him on LinkedIn.
Twitter is launching its own music service today both on the Web and as a native iOS app, after a dedicated webpage was spotted online last week with a #music hashtag graphic and dedicated sign-in button.
Twitter has confirmed that the service will be rolling out in the next few hours to users in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. Other regions will be supported at a later date.
All of the songs are sourced from either iTunes, Spotify or Rdio, and will play only a short preview by default. Rdio and Spotify subscribers can log into their existing accounts, however, and enjoy full tracks provided they’re already available in the companies’ respective libraries.
The company says the app will launch on Android in the future and support other music service providers – perhaps hinting at Xbox Music, Deezer or Nokia Music+ integration.
The app is centered around four tabs; popular, emerging, suggested and #nowplaying. The latter displays the songs that have been tweeted recently by the artists and people that a user already follows. A simple grid layout shows a prominent profile image and Twitter handle for each artist, coupled with a smaller icon in the top right-hand corner, which denotes the user that originally tweeted about the song.
Tapping on an artist’s image will display their most popular song and also provide a link-through to their existing Twitter profile. There’s also a magnifying glass in the top right-hand corner for looking up specific artists; tap their profile image, followed by the playback button to begin listening, or press play directly on the player to listen to all of the artists collectively.
To share a track on Twitter, tap the spinning disc in the bottom left-hand corner. The dedicated player then pops up, revealing an additional icon for a quick tweet.
The popular section of the app meanwhile tracks the top-trending music being listened to and talked about on Twitter. It sits alongside the emerging tab, which is focused on helping users discover new and unsigned talent, as well as the suggested section, which recommends new music based on the user’s existing library and listening habits.
The rumor mill
The impending launch follows a piece by AllThingsD, which suggested last week that a standalone app would give users a list of suggested artists and tracks based on ‘personalized signals’, including the specific accounts that they follow on Twitter.
The report predicted that Twitter wouldn’t be launching a streaming service, but instead connect users with third-party services such as iTunes and SoundCloud. Music videos provided by Vevo, the joint venture run by Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Abu Dhabi Media, was also a possibility.
The interest in the service escalated after it was confirmed that Twitter had acquired We Are Hunted, a popular website and Spotify app that provided users with a stream of music based on the top tracks endorsed by reputable blogs.
A statement published on the We Are Hunted website said the team would “continue to create services that will delight you” as part of the Twitter team. Although it hasn’t been confirmed, per se, the folks at We Are Hunted have almost certainly been working on the new Music app being launched later today.
Update: Twitter #Music appears to be live in the App Store for a number of US and UK users.
➤ Twitter #Music | iOS
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