TikTok’s short-form video feed has been copied by a slew of competitors, including Instagram, Snap, YouTube, and even Netflix. It appears that Spotify can now be added to that list.
The company has confirmed that it is currently testing a new feature called Discover in its app, which displays a vertical feed of music videos that users can scroll through and like or skip. It appears as a fourth tab in the navigation bar at the bottom of the Spotify app, between Home and Search, for those who have access to the feature.
Chris Messina was the first to notice the new addition, tweeting a video of the Discover feature in action. It’s a “trimmed-down version” of a TikTok-style music video feed, according to him.
Messina discovered the feature in Spotify’s TestFlight build (an iOS beta version), where tapping a new icon in the navigation toolbar takes you straight to the video feed. You can then move through the feed by swiping up and down, similar to how you would on TikTok. He points out that in addition to tapping the heart to like songs, you can also tap the three-dot menu to access the standard song information sheet.
Messina speculated that the feature might be based on Spotify’s existing Canvas format.
Canvas, which was widely released in 2019, allows artists to create videos to accompany their music on the Spotify app. Users had mixed reactions to the feature, with some claiming that when listening to music, they preferred to see only the static album art and found the video and its looping imagery distracting.
Others, on the other hand, said they enjoyed it. Users are more likely to continue streaming, share tracks, or save tracks when they see a Canvas, according to Spotify.
We can confirm that the videos playing in the vertical feed are the artists’ existing Canvas videos based on the video Messina shared and others we watched. However, Spotify refused to confirm this.
Spotify was pressed for more details on the feature, such as whether it planned to expand it, whether it was available on both iOS and Android, which markets it was available in, and so on. The company refused to provide any additional information about the feature, but did confirm in a statement that it was exploring the possibility of a vertical video feed.
The test is still in its early stages and may not be released to the public. It wouldn’t be a surprising move on Spotify’s part if it did. Previously, the company relied on popular social media formats to engage its users. Spotify previously experimented with a Stories feature that allowed influencers to introduce their own, curated playlists by posting Stories. However, that option was never made available to all Spotify subscribers.
While top social platforms such as Instagram (Reels), Snapchat (Spotlight), YouTube (Shorts), and Pinterest (Idea Pins) have adopted the TikTok format, it’s also proving to be an ideal format for content discovery.