One of the strange things about opening Spotify is that you’re confronted almost immediately with too many choices. With 30 million tracks to choose from, Spotify understands your struggle, and today released a new feature designed to make it easier to get your toes wet. It’s called “Top Tracks in Your Network,” and it is available today on iOS and Android, with the desktop version coming shortly.
Think of it as the “Popular on Facebook” selection on Netflix, but with less Taylor Swift. Spotify’s new feature uses a social graph to pluck out the top songs your friends are listening to, and arranges them into a playlist. It shows you how many of the people you follow are listening to a track, and who played it.
Top Tracks in Your Network is a new chart showing the most played songs among the people you follow. The more popular a song is with your friends, the higher it is up the chart. Refreshed daily, the new chart can be found in the Browse section under Top Lists. A drop down list of the people listening to the song can be found next to the track details.
The more replays a song has, for example, the more its signal is boosted by whatever algorithms Spotify has humming in the background. So if your friends (or rather the people you choose to follow) are listening to lots of Bruno Mars or something, that’s what you’re going to get.
Sharing music this way is more of an implicit endorsement than an explicit one: It doesn’t have quite the same effect as a friend Gchatting you, “Hey! Listen to this!” or even the signal of a re-shared SoundCloud link. It’s more like a tightly tailored version of the Billboard Top 100 but confined to your network, but it it pretty clearly demonstrates that Spotify is thinking hard about new ways to keep listeners tuning in.