Another day that ends with Y means another big platform is trying to copy TikTok’s format in the hopes of capturing more users in the coveted 18-34 demographic. This is the cycle we’re doomed to repeat, day in and day out, until either TikTok or time itself ceases to exist. This time, the platform in question is (spins giant wheel) Spotify.
On Wednesday, TechCrunch reported that the music streaming platform is following in the footsteps of Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, Pinterest, Netflix, Snapchat, and more by testing out an endlessly scrolling vertical video feed. In Spotify’s case, that feed will appear in a newly-minted Discover tab situated between the Home and Search buttons, and will allow users to flip through, like, or skip a curated selection of music videos.
The feature was first pointed out by developer Chris Messina, who noted in a tweet that the new feed is “basically a pared down version of a TikTok-style feed of vertical music videos.” In the same thread, Messina speculates that the Discover scroll will likely use the same Canvas format that Spotify first began implementing in 2019, which allows artists to add highly-stylised video clips to their music within the Spotify app.
— Chris Messina ᵍᵐ (????,????️) (@chrismessina) November 24, 2021
As Spotify has noted in the past, early data shows that Canvas appears to drive engagement, with users more likely to interact with songs that have the feature attached. And it’s also worth noting that unlike, say, Instagram, which absolutely reeks of desperation with its obviously subpar Reels feature, Spotify actually has a solid foothold in the video game just by being a music-centric platform. The popularity of TikTok’s videos, after all, is fuelled by the short music clips they sample — who’s to say the reverse can’t be true for Spotify?
The Discover project over at Spotify is still in the earliest stages of testing, so there’s no way to know if we’ll see it rolling out more widely on iOS and Android anytime soon. But one thing we can definitely count on — as sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west — is the inevitably of more platforms trying to cosplay as TikTok in the near future.