Twitter’s #Music


On Thursday last week, twitter launched its own music service, which aims to change the way people discover music, named #music.

The way the app works is by recommending music tracks to users, based upon who they follow. Integrating with Spotify, iTunes and Rdio, the app features different tabs which not only highlight the more popular tracks, but also gives emerging artists a platform to have their music heard too.

The move into a music recommendation service comes after twitter acquired San Francisco based software company, We Are Hunted. We Are Hunted scanned the internet for approximately 100,000 music articles and 40 million music related tweets each month to discover the most talked about tracks.

The launch of #music comes not long after Facebook made its own entry to the market, with Listen With Friends. Facebook’s incarnation allows users to listen along with their friends who are currently listening to music, at exactly the same time, using Facebook Chat. Users are also able to listen together in a group, if one users is designated as the DJ.

Similar to the original We Are Hunted, #music uses tweets sent by users to detect the most popular tracks and artists and allow other users to see who the artists they follow are listening to. It remains to be seen, however, how accurately the app works in practice – Whether I get music recommended to me which I actually like. It’s clear that for the app to work best, you need to be following a large number of people, however, will all of those people’s music tastes add up to mine?

I signed in to the app and browsed the “suggested” section. Track one, Bingo Players “Out Of My Mind”. A song whose preview nearly drove me… out of my mind. Bad recommendation. Track two, Sander Kleinenberg’s “This is Our Night”, a funky house track., which seemed spot on, a good track from someone I’d never heard of before. Carrying on, through the top 10 though, there were only three songs that I actually liked enough to listen to. Whilst I’m impressed that the app has recognised that I like the EDM genre, it needs more time and work to be able to drill down to exactly what you’re after. I wouldn’t expect to be overwhelmed by lots of good, new music recommendations just yet.

Whilst the app has received celebrity backing, it has seemingly also received the backing of twitter’s users, with a total of 256,226 #nowplaying tweets published within the first 24 hours of the service, four times the amount of Vine posts in the same period.

Still in its infancy, the app is already a powerful tool to discover new music. As more and more users adopt the technology, it will only serve to refine the service and bring more accurate recommendations.