As the social media landscape enters a new generation of users and features, another app has decided to TikTok-ify its user interface, but this time it’s a music streaming platform.
This week, Spotify announced that its home screen is getting a redesign focused on helping users find new music. The revamped home screen incorporates vertical scrolling, where users can view short videos and images of the artists they are listening to.
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The Spotify home screen will include many more visual stimuli; podcasts will play automatically and accompany a video. The new playlists will display a large cover photo that resembles a photo on your Instagram or Twitter account.
Spotify isn’t the first app trying to keep up with the exponential growth TikTok has experienced in the past three years. Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts were conceptualized to compete with users migrating to TikTok for their vertical video solution.
Before that, Instagram and Twitter took inspiration from Snapchat and added a Stories feature to compete with the app’s growing popularity. When BeReal burst onto the scene, TikTok faced a strong competitor for the first time and borrowed the app’s functionality from BeReal.
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It has been a common theme for social media platforms to compete with each other and adopt the hottest new features of their competitors. But it’s less common for music streaming platforms to embed social media experiences into their app.
In recent years, Spotify has included audiobooks and podcasts in its audio library to set itself apart from other music streaming platforms. But is there such a thing as too much to listen to? And should Spotify acknowledge that such a thing can exist?
Your personalized DJ with AI
In addition to a new interface, Spotify reminded users of its newest employee: an AI-powered DJ. The DJ uses nothing less than OpenAI’s generative AI technology to “give him insightful data about the music, artists, or genres he’s listening to,” according to a blog post.
Spotify has been using AI to curate playlists for years and views AI and machine learning as an integral part of the company’s success, according to Tony Jebara, Spotify’s vice president of engineering. Spotify uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to create the super personalized song and playlist recommendations found on the app’s home screen.
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AI also powers Spotify’s search engine and uses natural language processing to “estimate” a user’s search queries, so they don’t always have to know the exact song title, artist, playlist or the podcast they are looking for.
To use AI DJ, navigate to your Music Feed on the Home tab in the Spotify app. Then locate the DJ card and press play. If you’re not enjoying what the DJ chose for you, you can tap the DJ button again and a whole new genre, mood, or artist will play instead.