Spotify Testing TikTok-Style Vertical Video Feed Called ‘Discover’

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 25 Nov 2021


Following TikTok, several big tech companies have jumped on the short-form video platform bandwagon. Instagram offers Reels, YouTube offers YouTube Shorts, and even Netflix and Snap have their variations of short-form video content. Now, Spotify is gearing up to enter the fray.

The audio streaming giant has confirmed that it is currently testing a new Discover feature in its app. This provides users with a vertical feed of music videos to scroll through, like, or scroll past. Discover is the fourth tab in the navigation bar at the bottom, positioned between Home and Search.

Twitter user Chris Messina told TechCrunch that he first found the feature in Spotify’s TestFlight beta build on iOS. He likened Discover to a “pared-down version” of TikTok.

When you tap on the Discover button in the navigation bar, it opens a video feed. You can then swipe up and down to view posts, just like on TikTok. You could also tap the heart icon to like the content. Messina noted that you could view a standard song information sheet if you tap on the three-dot menu. He also speculated that the feature could be leveraging Spotify’s existing Canvas format.

TechCrunch confirmed that the videos playing in the vertical feed on Discover are indeed existing Canvas videos uploaded by artists. However, Spotify did not confirm this directly. The streaming platform refused to share additional details about the Discover feature but issued a statement saying that it was exploring the idea of a vertical video feed. A spokesperson said:

“At Spotify, we routinely conduct a number of tests in an effort to improve our user experience. 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.”

Our Take

Spotify appears to be in the early stages of developing the Discover feature. However, the feature may never get launched, just like Stories that Spotify had tested for creators in the past.

Uncertainties notwithstanding, Spotify is entering the already-competitive short-video format segment. It joins other new offerings such as Netflix’s Fast Laughs feature, Snap’s Spotlight, and Pinterest’s Idea Pins.

Do you think Discover will be a successful experiment for Spotify? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

[Via TechCrunch]