Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
Spotify is testing a new TikTok-style video feed in its beta iOS app that shows fullscreen video clips as songs are played, TechCrunch reports. The feature was first spotted by Chris Messina, who posted a video of the feed in action. When available, the video feed is accessible from a new fourth tab in the navigation bar labelled “Discover.” Individual tracks can then be liked as you scroll through the feed, and there’s also a three dot menu icon to bring up options for each song.
Spotify confirmed the test in a statement provided to TechCrunch, but declined to comment on if or when it might see a wider rollout. “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.”
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 test comes as Netflix has started testing a similar interface in its iOS app to help users discover new content to watch. It’s recent “Kids Clips” feature shows content from its child-friendly shows, and follows the launch of a similar “Fast Laughs” feed earlier this year. As TikTok’s engagement hours soar, even non-social media platforms are becoming interested in using its format to help users engage with their own services.
The Discover feed appears to build upon Spotify’s existing Canvas feature, where artists can have videos play alongside their music on the service. The videos shown as part of the Discover feed appear to be the same as those used for Canvas, TechCrunch notes.
In an interesting sign of how formats are changing, the discovery of Spotify’s new test comes almost a year to the day after the service was experimenting with using a Snapchat-style stories feature alongside several of its playlists. Who knows what will be in fashion by this time next year?