The Latest | Southern California breaking news and trends
Arts & Entertainment

How Twitter's new music platform works. And how it can humiliate you

Screenshot: Twitter

Twitter's it-took-so-long-we-almost-gave-up-on-it music service arrived Thursday in a shiny, boxy layout that allows people to easily find music and share via iTunes, Spotify and Rdio.

In a blog post, Twitter said that Apple apps will also be available for download on Thursday. Eventually the service will be available for Android devices, but not today.

With new technology comes fresh new ways to potentially humiliate yourself and/or influence others. Twitter's new music service is no different. 

The new service will allow you to search any Twitter user and see a list of the artists that they follow. 

Some of us have lists that start with Cher and end with Neil Diamond. But who does Cher follow? Lady Gaga. Who does Lady Gaga follow? Bette Midler. There are no surprises here.


In addition to an open search field, there is a menu of categories for quick filtering:

  • Popular - New music trending on Twitter
  • Emerging - Hidden talent found in the Tweets
  • Suggested - Artists you might like
  • #NowPlaying - Tweeted by people you follow
  • Me - Artists you follow


You will need a Spotify or Rdio account in order to hear the full tracks.

Then you'll need to agree to terms in order to link services.

If you choose not to combine services, or if you don't have Twitter, Spotify or Rdio accounts, you can still use the service, albeit in a limited capacity. In that case, all you'll get when you click the player is an iTunes preview clip, and a link to the iTunes store. 

If you're logged in to Spotify, however (or Rdio), the full track is yours for the listening, and the link is a Spotify one.

What gets fed to Facebook depends on your Facebook settings, but a quick test of Spotify's "Private Session" option suggests Twitter will honor your choice not to share. If unselected, your listening spree may end up in a "Recent Activity" feed on Facebook (again, depending on your preferences).

Will you try out Twitter's new music service?