Twitter’s not talking about the music app it is reportedly set to debut either Friday or this weekend, during the Coachella Music Festival, but already, several clues have emerged about this standalone music app, based on Twitter’s now-confirmed acquisition of We Are Hunted, which analyzed Twitter and other sources to identify trending music.
The official name of the app is “Trending Music Web,” according to the above log-in page, which is already live at music.twitter.com, although you can’t actually log in yet. Twitter specifically refers to that as “the web version” of this app, which would seem to indicate that other versions are coming — we would guess, for iOS and Android devices. This stands to reason, because Twitter builds its own clients for its main service, and the same We Are Hunted team that’s confirmed to be working on Twitter’s music web app has made several standalone apps for iPad and iPhone in the past.
It’s a little funny that the Twitter Trending Music web app has to ask permission to see your tweets and who you follow, because unlike third-party apps that integrate with Twitter, Twitter already knows that stuff.
However, the additional permission requests for making you follow new people, updating your profile, and posting tweets indicate that Twitter Trending Music will allow you to follow artists you find there in your main Twitter account; update your main Twitter profile with a possible link to your profile page in the Twitter Trending Music app; and tweet to your regular Twitter followers when you do stuff in the Twitter music apps (play a song, favorite a song, and so on).
Even before this standalone music app launches, Twitter can embed songs from YouTube (screenshot to the right), Rdio (see the latest tweet from new Twitter employee Stephen Philips, formerly of We Are Hunted), and other sources. In that sense, Twitter Trending Music doesn’t seem to represent anything new.
What will be different is how these music-laden tweets find their way to you via Twitter Trending Music. According to AllThingsDigital, “the app suggests artists and tracks to users based on a number of personalized signals, including the Twitter accounts a user follows on the microblogging service.”
This seems like a safe assumption, since the whole point of We Are Hunted was to find stuff to listen to that you didn’t already know about. However, it’s unclear how well Twitter will be able to recommend music based on the artists you follow, or even the tweets you’ve favorited.
To use a convenient example, I follow only a couple of artists on Twitter, and I don’t think I’ve ever favorited a tweet about a song. In cases like that, Twitter won’t have much to go on for personalization.
However, if these Twitter Trending Music apps will allow you to follow artists directly in your main Twitter account, as the above image suggests it will, that problem could be solved — at least for dedicated users of the app.
Unlike Facebook or Last.fm, Twitter has not positioned itself as a repository for what people are listening to elsewhere on the net, although it is possible to tweet songs actively from various places.
We’ll refrain from continued speculation about Twitter Trending Music, because whatever it is, we’ll be able to use it soon — at least this “web version.” It’s unclear when any Android, iOS, or other version of the app will be available.
Update: Twitter added a new note to music.twitter.com to the effect that the service is currently available by invitation:
Another Update: Maybe too many people are asking for invites, because now it says “Coming soon”: