Spotify starts trial of Tiktok-like vertical video feed

TikTok’s meteoric rise in popularity largely due to its short-form video feed has seen its competitors including Instagram, YouTube, and even Netflix look to copy the format and implement it in their own respective platforms. Now, Spotify is joining this list of competitors.

In a report published by TechCrunch, Spotify has confirmed that it is currently testing a new feature on its app, called Discover. Discover presents a vertical feed of music videos that users can scroll through and optionally skip or like, just like in the popular app TikTok.

The feature has not been rolled out to everyone in public, for the lucky few, the feature appears as a fourth tab in the navigation bar at the bottom of the Spotify app, in between Home and Search.

TechCrunch reports that tech enthusiast, Chris Messina, was the first to bring the new feature into the limelight. Messina describes the feature as a “pared-down version” of a TikTok style-feed of music videos. In a video he uploaded on Twitter, Messina can be seen swapping vertically on three different music videos within a 16-second period with seamless transition.

Chris Messina reportedly found the feature on Spotify’s TestFlight build, which is a beta version for iOS, where the new Discover icon on the navigation toolbar directs you immediately to the video feed when tapped.

Once on the video feed, you are then able to swipe up and down to move through the feed, just like you would on TikTok. Another functionality, in addition to liking the songs by tapping the heart button, is tapping the three-dotted menu to bring up the standard song information that Spotify normally provides.

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Chris Messina is of the opinion that the short videos provided on the Spotify app are sourced from their Canvas portfolio.

Canvas was initially introduced in 2019. It allowed artists to create videos that accompanied their music on the Spotify app. The feature received mixed reactions from users, with some preferring to look at the traditional static album art when listening to music and found the video and its looping imagery distracting. Others, on the other hand, liked the feature. From the company’s perspective, however, Spotify reported that the Canvas feature made it more likely that users continue streaming, sharing tracks or saving tracks when they see a Canvas.

Spotify has not yet provided further information regarding the feature on whether it will be available on all markets, when it will be available and whether it will be available on both Android and iOS. They however have admitted to TechCrunch that they are working on the idea of a vertical video feed.

“At Spotify, we routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve our user experience,” Spotify’s spokesperson is quoted saying.

“Some of those tests end up paving the way for our broader user experience, and others serve only as an important learning. We don’t have any further news to share at this time,” they added.

This is Spotify basically admitting that the test is still at an early stage, and should they fail to get positive feedback from their users, the feature will be scrapped.

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Naftaly is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for tech, video games and pop culture. When he is not writing articles for AndroidKenya, he is probably rewatching the Lord of the Rings trilogy for the hundredth time. Email at criskariuki@gmail.com Twitter @KarisNaftaly

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