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Once again, Apple backs away from social music

The next version of Apple Music will ax the “Connect” tab, according to 9to5Mac’s absurdly well-sourced Mark Gurman. That section of the app, which allowed listeners to follow artists for exclusive updates, is reportedly seeing its content tucked into the “For You” part of the app instead of occupying its own navigation menu item. 

The rumored change would be part of a broader redesign of Apple Music, reportedly being prepared for the company’s World Wide Developers Conference in June. 

It’s tempting to compare Connect to Ping, the unsuccessful social feature added to iTunes in 2010 (and later removed). But Apple isn’t declaring Connect a failure. Rather, it’s weaving it deeper into the app to leave precious navigation space for something that people might find more useful.  

The shift could help Apple hone its focus on one of its chief advantages: Curation. Between its amazingly well-crafted playlists and Beats One radio station, Apple Music has made human-powered music discovery and curation one of its most compelling selling points. If it’s true that Apple Music is getting an overhaul in iOS 10, don’t be surprised to see more of that human touch. JPT