TikTok built an empire on short vertical videos with popular music playing in the background. An empire that other tech companies want to emulate, including Spotify – it appears that the music streaming service is testing a feature that displays a feed of vertical videos.
That feature is called Discover and was spotted by Chris Messina, who found it in a Spotify TestFlight build (TestFlight is the iOS way for developers to release beta versions). Discover is available as a new tab in the app UI.
This appears to be related to Canvas – the feature that allows musicians and bands to replace the static album art with short videos. Indeed, the videos seen in Discover appear to be Canvas videos, just cropped to vertical format.
Users can swipe vertically to navigate between the clips and can hit the heart button to like a clip, a pretty familiar interface that clearly takes inspiration from TikTok.
TechCrunch asked Spotify about the Discover feature, but the company was pretty terse, only saying that this is a test to see if there is any merit in the concept, meaning that Discover may be axed before it gets a wide release. Or if it proves popular, it can be enabled for all users in a future release.
Spotify isn’t shy about borrowing ideas from other companies. Recently it launched Greenroom, a competitor to Clubhouse, and in January it was also testing a Stories feature. Though it is hardly alone in this, e.g. Twitter’s Spaces are also a Clubhouse competitor. Before that, everyone else was launching Stories features too.