Spotify is testing a new feature called Discover that lets users scroll through a feed of vertical videos and skip or like them, much as you do on TikTok, TechCrunch has reported. The feature was spotted in the latest version of Spotify's beta iOS TestFlight build by Chris Messina, who tweeted that it appeared as a fourth icon in Spotify's iOS toolbar.
Discover looks to be a way for users to find new music in an intuitive, rapid way, by swiping up and down to move through the feed. You can tap on a heart to like the song, or hit the three-dot menu to bring up Spotify's standard information card about the song.
Not only that, @Spotify Discover is basically a pared down version of a TikTok-style feed of vertical music videos (likely using their canvas format) that you can like or skip.#NewSpotify pic.twitter.com/hpOEZ8v9bl
— Messina.eth (@chrismessina) November 24, 2021
The format may use Spotify's Canvas format, Messina notes. That allows artists to create videos to go along with songs, rather than just static images, and appears on certain songs instead of the standard album art when you play a video. They can be in the form of standard video and mixed media, along with 2D and 3D graphics. In pitching the feature, Spotify tells artists that Canvas boosts key engagement metrics like sharing, adding to playlists and visiting profile pages.
Spotify confirmed to TechCrunch that it's testing the feature, but declined to share further details like how it would curate feeds. "At Spotify, we routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve our user experience," a spokesperson said. "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."
Spotify is far from the first platform to flatter TikTok through imitation. Instagram's Reels and YouTube Shorts are virtual clones of TikTok, and even Netflix recently introduced a TikTok-like comedy feed called Fast Laughs. It's not clear yet if Spotify's discovery feature will make it out of beta, but it looks like a useful way to find new music.