Having made it safe by slowing down the new hires, while waiting to put the acquisition of Sonantic to good use, Spotify has ventured into the test of a curious feature, Community: this is what it is.
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Spotify, the famous Swedish audio streaming platform, fresh from the slowdown in hiring, and from an acquisition with many possible implications, according to what leakers discovered, is testing a “social streaming” function that, with the right means, is already possible to use (partially, and not by all).
If Netflix cuts its staff to the sound of layoffs, the “growing uncertainty about the global economy” does not make even Spotify smile, with a workforce of 6,600 at the end of 2021, according to Bloomberg, which refers to a Daniel Ek’s company insider note, plans to cut new hires by 25%. In the meantime, however, the growth projects do not fail, as confirmed by the platform itself, which announced that it had bought Sonantic, the start-up focused on AI, which has “given back” the voice to Val Kilmer (who he is now devoid of it, due to the after-effects of throat cancer) in the film “Top Gun: Maverik”.
According to what has been disclosed, the acquisition could be useful in text-to-speech contexts, perhaps in view of the intention of making its way into the world of audio books, or for a proprietary virtual assistant, which provides context “on the suggested contents when they are not looking at the screen “.
With a decision that is somewhat reminiscent of the Oversight board of Facebook, Spotify, in its press room, announced the launch of a final board that will deal with “helping Spotify to evolve its policies and its products in a safe way, making sure to respect the expression of the creators “: specifically, the feedback provided by its members should support the platform, a veteran of the burning Joe Rogan affair, to implement functions and security policies that balance content moderation with policies relating to freedom of speech.
In a more concrete context, Spotify has launched an internal test relating to a function that takes its cue from the already present “Friend Activity” sidebar, which allows you to see what your friends are playing, and to show them what we are streaming. Well, the feature in question is present only on the desktop side and, in 2019, the proposal to bring it also on the mobile side was shelved: on the other hand, it emerged that the platform is internally testing the similar “Community” function that would allow you to see, in a section of the big S app, what friends, who have an account connected to Facebook, are playing in real time and which playlists they have recently updated.
To force the use of the function right now, from an iOS device just open the url “spotify: community” with Safari. Once the platform app is open, you will see the top row of the recently updated playlists, with timestamps that allow you to focus on the most recent additions, and the ability to view the songs by touching them. Below, there will be a list of friends, with an indication of the song and how much he has listened to it in streaming, with the consequence that, if the listening is in progress, you will notice the equalizer bars come alive. Unfortunately, this function, which cannot be forced equally on Android devices and with Chrome, is still in an embryonic stage of development, so much so that, by tapping on one of the songs listened to by friends, it does not start playing.