Spotify tests a TikTok-like vertical video feed in its app – TechCrunch

TikTok has seen its short video update copied by a host of competitors, from Instagram via Snap to YouTube and even Netflix. It now appears that you can add Spotify to this list. The company has confirmed that it is currently testing a new feature in its app, Discover, that features a vertical update of music videos that users can scroll through and alternatively like or skip. For those who have access to the feature, it appears as a fourth tab in the navigation bar at the bottom of the Spotify app, between home and search.

The new addition was first observed by Chris Messina, Who tweeted a video of the Discover feature in action. He described it as a “limited edition” TikTok-style feed of clips.

Messina told us that he found the feature in Spotify’s TestFlight (beta version for iOS), where a new icon in the navigation toolbar brings you immediately to update the video while tapping. You can then slide up and down to move through the feed, similar to TikTok. In addition to tapping the heart to love songs, you can also tap the three-point menu to upload the standard information sheet of the songs, he notes.

Messina also speculated that the feature might take advantage of Spotify’s existing Canvas format.

Canvas, which was widely introduced in 2019, allows artists to create videos that accompany their music in the Spotify app. The feature had mixed user reviews, as some reported that they preferred to see only the static album image when listening to music and found the video and its rolling images distracting. But others said they liked it. However, Canvas seems to be driving the engagement metrics Spotify wants – the company reports That users are more likely to continue streaming, sharing tracks or saving tracks when viewing Canvas.

From the video Messina shared and others we watched, we can confirm that the videos playing in the vertical feed are the artists’ existing canvas videos. But Spotify will not confirm this to us directly.

TechCrunch has asked Spotify for more information about the feature, including whether it has plans to distribute it further, whether it is available on both iOS and Android, which markets have access to the feature and more. The company declined to share any details about the feature, but confirmed, through a statement, that it is exploring the idea of ​​a vertical video update.

“On Spotify, we routinely perform a number of tests in an effort to improve our user experience,” a spokesman told TechCrunch. “Some of these tests eventually pave the way for our broader user experience and others serve only as important learning. We have no further news to share at this point,” they added.

In other words, the test is still very early and may not make its way to the public. But if so, it would not be a surprising move on the part of Spotify. The company has previously looked for popular social media formats to attract its users. In the past, Spotify has tested the Stories feature that has allowed influencers to post stories to view their own playlists. But this option has never been made available to all Spotify users.

While the TikTok format has been adopted by leading social platforms, including Instagram (Reels), Snapchat (Spotlight), YouTube (Shorts) and Pinterest (Idea Pins), it is also proving to be an ideal format for content discovery. Netflix, for example, recently adopted the short vertical video feed in its own app with the launch of its “fast laugh” feature, which offers clips from its content library and tools for keeping the programs on a watch list or just starting streaming. them. Similarly, Spotify’s video-based Discover feature can help introduce users to new music and offer a way to signal their interests to Spotify in a familiar format.

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