Fans of the music discovery website We Are Hunted (which used technology to track Internet buzz and create charts based on the data) noticed a few weeks ago that the website had gone offline. It was known that We Are Hunted had been working on a music app based on its current format. Last week, it was announced that Twitter had acquired the website and its assets, and would soon roll out the new music discovery service. Today, the new Twitter #Music app officially releases to the public, available directly on the web or as a free app for iOS.
Because the former We Are Hunted website drew most of its data from social networking in general, and Twitter in particular, the move to integrate with Twitter seems to be a natural transition. We Are Hunted founder Stephen Philips wrote today on Twitter’s blog:
“Many of the most-followed accounts on Twitter are musicians, and half of all users follow at least one musician. This is why artists turn to Twitter first to connect with their fans — and why we wanted to find a way to surface songs people are tweeting about.”
Promising to “change the way people find music,” the new Twitter #Music page follows a similar layout and function to We Are Hunted, with the exception that by default listeners only hear the iTunes preview of the featured songs when they click on the squares. (Subscribers to Spotify and Rdio can sign into those services from #Music to hear full tracks.) The charts are compiled by Tweet activity, with the front page charting the most popular tracks of the moment. However, some of the real power of music discovery can be found deeper into the site; a drop-down menu at the top left of the page reveals an Emerging Talent chart, a #NowPlaying chart for Twitter account holders based on the people they follow, and a Suggested chart based on your own activity.
We first introduced MIMO readers to We Are Hunted with an interview of co-founder Richard Slatter last fall, and comparing the previous service with the new Twitter #Music app, I can definitely see the improvements and ease of use compared to the previous website, and why it made so much sense to combine the idea of online music discovery with the reach of Twitter. It is definitely a step up for the service.
The one drawback (if you can call it that) is that many of the best features of the new Twitter #Music app are only available for Twitter account holders. However, since a Twitter account is free, it’s worth it to subscribe to access the full service.