It appears Spotify is borrowing a feature from now-defunct social listening platform Turntable.fm. Unearthed by reverse-engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong, Social Listening is a feature that would let multiple users add songs to a queue in real time.
Essentially — kind of a live playlist shared between friends. The feature, however, is merely part of a test at the moment. As such, there's no guarantee of it ever rolling out to all user at some point in the future.
Social Listening On Spotify
Screenshots Wong found show the Android version of Spotify with a sleek setup screen where users can scan each other's codes or share a link then create a shared queue. Wong said the feature appears to be exclusive to Spotify employees right now, who are more than likely testing it internally.
Asked about the feature, Spotify provided a boilerplate response.
"We're always testing new products and experiences, but have no further news to share at this time." Those are familiar words. It's what the company always says when someone, usually Wong, uncovers features still in testing. Even still, Social Listening seems a perfect fit for the platform, especially if Spotify intends the app to have more social features.
Say someone is at a party and wants to queue up a song. If the music source is Spotify, they'll have to ask the owner of the device on which the app is running to add the song for them. With this feature, though, that process becomes much easier and streamlined. This way, multiple people can easily pair up and contribute to creating a carefully curated music queue.
Spotify is working on Social Listening, letting friends to control music together with their own devices Scan Spotify Code or open link for it to begin For example, I'm listening Spotify right now. Feel free to introduce me new music: https://t.co/f59D0sis7Y pic.twitter.com/nPOlcPwQdG — Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) May 31, 2019
Spotify already has a handful of collaborative features available, but none so extreme that it would let others insert their own choices in a public queue. If rolled out, it would save people a lot of time inputting, searching for, and requesting their preferred songs to be lined up. Again, there's no assurance if this would ever make it to the consumer version of the app, but hopefully, Spotify does roll it out widely.
Turntable.fm launched in 2011 as a startup that let people collaborate on song choices in virtual rooms, wherein they could also chat, vote on the next songs, and even watch avatars dance. Unfortunately, the company struggled to rake in a steady profit through ad-free subscriptions and promptly shut down in 2014. This feature would be a great way of somewhat resurrecting the underappreciated, often overlooked service.
Thoughts on the idea of Social Listening? Sound off in the comments section below if you have any thoughts!