Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Spotify is testing a new feed inspired by TikTok featuring videos & a Discover tab

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TikTok built an empire on short vertical videos with popular music playing in the background. An empire that other tech giants are looking for ways to emulate with a twist, Spotify is the most recent.

It appears that the music streaming service is testing a feature that displays a feed of vertical videos. That feature is called Discover and was spotted by Chris Messina, who found it in a Spotify TestFlight build (TestFlight is the iOS way for developers to release beta versions).

Discover is available as a new tab in the app UI. This appears to be related to Canvas, the feature that allows musicians and bands to replace static album art with short videos. The videos that we come across in Discover appear to be Canvas videos, just cropped to vertical format.

Users can swipe vertically to navigate between the clips and can hit the heart button to like a clip, an interface that is eerily familiar to that of TikTok.

TechCrunch asked Spotify about the Discover feature, but the company was pretty vague, they brushed it aside by stating that it was only a test to see if there is any actual merit in the concept, meaning that we may never actually get to see Discover if Spotify decides to abandon it.

But, let’s be optimistic here for a second, if this feature does receive a positive outpouring of response, it can be enabled for all users in a future release. An alternative could be Spotify releasing the feature in select regions only based on the kind of response it receives.

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Spotify is not shy about borrowing ideas from other companies, recently it launched Greenroom, a competitor to Clubhouse, and in January, it was also testing a Stories feature.

Though it is hardly alone in this, as Twitter’s Spaces are also a Clubhouse competitor. Before that, everyone else was launching Stories features too.

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