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 its home screen is receiving a redesign focused on helping users find new music. The revamped home screen incorporates vertical scrolling, where users can see short videos and images of the artists they listen to.
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Spotify’s home screen will include much more visual stimuli; podcasts will automatically play and accompany a video. New playlists will display a large cover photo resembling a photo on your Instagram or Twitter feed.
Spotify is not the first app to try and keep up with the exponential growth TikTok has seen in the last three years. Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts were conceptualized to compete with users migrating to TikTok for their vertical video fix.
Before that, Instagram and Twitter took inspiration from Snapchat and incorporated a Stories feature to compete with the app’s soaring popularity. When BeReal came onto the scene, TikTok faced a strong competitor for the first time and borrowed BeReal’s app functionality.
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It’s been a common theme for social media platforms to compete with one another and adopt their competitors’ hottest new features. But it’s less common for music streaming platforms to incorporate social media experiences into their app.
In recent years, Spotify has included audiobooks and podcasts in its audio library to differentiate itself from other music streaming platforms. But is there such a thing as too much to listen to? And should Spotify recognize that such a thing may exist?
Your personalized AI DJ
On top of a new interface, Spotify reminded users of its most recent employee: a DJ powered by artificial intelligence. The DJ uses none other than OpenAI’s generative AI technology to “provide you with insightful facts about the music, artists, or genres you’re listening to,” according to a blog post.
Spotify has been using AI to curate playlists for years and considers AI and machine learning an integral part of the company’s success, according to Tony Jebara, Spotify’s VP of engineering. Spotify uses AI 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 “guestimate” a user’s search queries, so they don’t always have to know the exact title of the song, artist, playlist, or podcast they’re searching for.
To use the 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 picked for you, you can tap the DJ button again, and an entirely new genre, mood, or artist will play instead.