Facebook’s big musical achievement has been to make it easier to find music through your friends — first by embedding YouTube and SoundCloud files, and then by linking Spotify, Songza, and other services directly into Facebook, so you can see what your friends are listening to, and even join them.
In our exclusive interview with Facebook manager of strategic partnerships Ime Archibong, he said Facebook isn’t looking at reversing that equation — that is to say, introducing people who have similar taste in music, because Facebook always looks at friend relationships before shared relationships to something like music.
Moosify, a new Spotify app, flips that script, filling a gap that Facebook has pretty much said it’s going to stay away from: It introduces people to each other if A) They like similar music, and B) They are somewhat nearby.
The new Spotify app (Moosify also comes in Android and iPhone flavors) requires that you log in with your Facebook credentials. As with all Facebook Connect apps, you can specify whether its messages get sent to everyone, just you, or somewhere in between.
Set-up was easy, but then what? We “met” a bunch of people with play buttons next to them. Clicking those caused all sorts of disagreeable (to me) music to play: an AC/DC tribute band, some horrendous smooth jam by Babyface, and a cheesy Spanish country song by someone called Chayanne. And, of course, because I have Spotify connected to Facebook, now my actual friends think I was listening to Chayanne on purpose:
That said, the point of this app is to introduce you to people through music, not the other way around, so perhaps that musical misfiring shouldn’t be a dealbreaker. Also, I am married with a kid, and too busy to see the friends I have as much as I’d like, let alone try to make new ones. On top of that, I am in New York. Maybe that is the problem: There are too many people here already. Who wants to know more of them? For whatever reason, I didn’t have much of an urge to meet these folks in person.
Moosify for Spotify includes helpful filters for Gender, Goals, and Age, as well as one for “Livematch,” which promises to introduce you to “people listening to similar music right now.” This worked as bit better, when I listened to Javelin and turned on the All Ages setting, the app pulled up some people with taste that looked more similar to mine. I still don’t want to meet them, though. Maybe it’s just me.
Half of the utility of Moosify lies in its location-sensing ability, and I was using the Spotify version, which presumably uses my IP address to put me in New York. But with the Android or iOS version, access to GPS allows people to meet each other in tighter locations, because they have GPS. And if you check into locations with the mobile app’s FourSquare-style feature, those will show up in Spotify when people look at your Moosify profile. That’s neat — and it provides another means with which to decide if you have found someone you want to hang out with. (The Spotify, iOS, and Android apps all run on the same platform, so if you add a friend on one, the person will be your friend in the others too.)
Even though Moosify didn’t work too well for me, personally, it could be a tool of incredible importance in smaller towns, or for other people. Imagine you’re the only Javelin fan in Small Town, U.S.A., and you fire up this app to find that another kid near your age, in the same county, is also super into Javelin. This would be information of the utmost value. Lives would be changed forever. If that sounds like you — or if you’re interested in flipping the usual social media discovery process upside down for some other reason — install Moosify into your Spotify desktop client now. Why knows — you could meet your next date, spouse, or friend.