Spotify Is Testing A New Social Feature That Could Add A Human Touch To Discovery

Screenshot: Spotify, Gizmodo

It appears Spotify is prototyping a function to allow users to more easily discover what their friends are listening to most.

The feature was discovered by researcher and reverse-engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong and first reported by TechCrunch on Wednesday. As TechCrunch noted, a landing page is currently accessible here, though its features and buttons aren’t currently operational. It does, however, include a header that explains Tastebuds is a feature to “discover music through friends whose taste you trust.”

According to Wong, the feature works by allowing users to add certain friends to see what they’ve been listening to most, allowing friends to more easily keep tabs on music in heavy rotation. This feature would differ from the Friends feed in the desktop app that allows users to track what their friends are listening to in real-time. It would also be markedly more social and would allow for easier music-sharing within the app rather than outside of it or through connected messaging apps.

Spotify did not immediately return Gizmodo’s request for comment. However, a Spotify spokesperson told TechCrunch in a statement that the company is “always testing new products and experiences, but have no further news to share at this time.”

As Wong noted on Twitter, there is a separate Tinder-like, music-focused dating app called Tastebuds that had support for Spotify. That app—which is still active—is unaffiliated with the Spotify feature the company is prototyping, a spokesperson told TechCrunch.

The specifics around privacy were not immediately clear. For example, it’s unclear whether someone would be notified when they were added to a Tastebuds playlist or whether a user could opt out in the same way users can turn off their real-time listening feeds. But then again, testing a feature doesn’t necessarily guarantee it will eventually reach users.

The functionality of this feature would be welcome on Spotify—and particularly on mobile. Spotify can currently be connected to various social apps, including Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook, but that requires some extra legwork. Having the ability to curate a kind of tastemakers section within the app to keep tabs on what friends are playing regularly is more likely to facilitate discovery than the real-time feed, which can—depending on the specific minute-by-minute moods of your friends and acquaintances—be a bit of a crapshoot.

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