Twitter launches online music discovery service

Twitter has launched a new service that hopes to revolutionise online music discovery in the same way it has revolutionised online communication.

Following tweets by music celebrities with early access to the app, Twitter has officially launched #music, marking the company’s first foray into the online music scene.

The service uses Twitter chatter to detect popular songs and trending artists and features artists’ music-related tweets on their #music profiles. Users can preview 30-second clips of songs directly within the app, with an option to buy the full song on iTunes.

Twitter has also linked up with music streaming giants Spotify and Rdio to allow users with paid subscriptions to stream songs through the #music app. And of course, users can tweet what they’re listening to (within 140 characters) with the touch of a button.

This move by Twitter into the music scene isn’t surprising considering the heavy use of the site by musicians. In a blog post announcing the launch, Twitter stated, “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.”

The launch follows the social media giant’s purchase of Aussie start-up We Are Hunted. The Brisbane-based project, founded in 2007, monitored sites including MySpace, Last.fm and Twitter as well as blog activity to allow users to discover and share new music online.

Since then, the three founders of We Are Hunted have shut down the site and have been working to develop a similar service under the Twitter name – #music.

So far the app is only available to iPhone users and on the web in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Ireland, but Twitter expects to roll out the service to Android users, other devices and more countries in the future.

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