Last year, Twitter (News - Alert) acquired a music discovery service called "We Are Hunted" and it is now making good on that acquisition, using its technology to build a standalone music app. The app will appropriately be called Twitter Music and may see an iOS release before the end of the month, according to a source close to the matter.
Twitter Music aims to personalize music discovery by suggesting artists and songs based largely on which accounts a user follows on Twitter. Songs deemed appropriate by the app are then streamed to the user via SoundCloud.
This is just the latest move in Twitter's quest to become a more fully realized media company, while likely also adding further media flavor to users' timelines. The company took another huge step toward this goal in January with the introduction of Vine, a mobile video service that allows users to create and share short six-second video loops. Twitter also rolled out this new service through acquisition.
Twitter Music differs significantly, however, in that it falls officially under the Twitter brand. Perhaps this is to acknowledge the role music has played in drawing in Twitter users, as many of the most popular Twitter accounts are those of pop stars.
For the first time Twitter Music users will be greeted with a short guided tour and of course the option to link their Twitter account for more personalized recommendations. Fortunately, a Twitter account isn't mandatory to use the service.
Similar to the Twitter mobile app, Twitter Music sports four main tabs: suggestions, followed artists, artists that people you're following follow, and a #NowPlaying tab, which features links to songs tweeted by people you follow who use that hashtag.
In all, Twitter Music has the makings of a hit, but it's always difficult to tell for sure what will and won't take off. Either way, Twitter needs to continue building up its media capabilities in order to keep up with more widely used social networks, like Facebook (News - Alert), which itself put greater focus on music and other media with its recent newsfeed redesign.
Edited by Brooke Neuman