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Twitter-branded music site indicates app is on the way

A new Twitter-branded music site appears on the Internet, following the site's acquisition of music startup We Are Hunted

Tweets may soon have beats. Twitter appears to be readying its own music application designed to let users discover new artists and songs based on trending activity on the site. See our Twitter #Music review.

Twitter has yet to confirm it is launching such a product, although the social blogging network is currently hosting the site music.twitter.com, which was pointed out Friday morning by an industry analyst.

By clicking on the "Sign in" button on that site, a pop-up window appears asking the user permission to authorize "Trending Music Web" to access the person's Twitter account. The service is described as "the web version of the trending music app."

That Web application, according to the sign-in page, will be designed to read tweets from the person's timeline, see who the person follows, update the person's profile and post tweets for the user.

Rumors have been circulating for several weeks that Twitter has been working on a music app. A service for discovering trending music would make sense following Twitter's recent acquisition of San Francisco-based startup We Are Hunted, a service designed to chart top new songs based on popularity on blogs and social media. That deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, was announced Thursday.

How We Are Hunted's technology, however, would be incorporated into a new Twitter app is not immediately clear. Twitter has declined to comment on the matter.

Twitter's own twitter stream did not offer any other details either, beyond its confirmation yesterday of the We Are Hunted deal.

If a trending music app were to play songs and display other audio content directly within tweets, that type of functionality would seem well-suited to some recent design changes that Twitter has made to its site.

Just last week, for instance, Twitter expanded its "Cards" program for developers to make tweets more interactive, including the ability to access mobile apps from inside a tweet.

If a Twitter-branded trending music app were to deliver personalized new music recommendations to users, it could be seen as competitive to more established music discovery products such as Pandora and Spotify.

Still, "it would be great to see Twitter get into the music business if they can provide some added value," said Gartner analyst Brian Blau.

For instance, "having the capability for users to easily find new music from their Twitter followers, or to purchase songs directly from a Twitter music app and then immediately share that with their own followers, is a bit different than you would find on other social services," he said.

Also, because Twitter's content tends to be more public than, say, Facebook's friend-to-friend sharing model, having a music sharing capability on the site with no issues around privacy could help artists reach more people, Blau said. "The theory is that information and links about music would flow more freely and that means engagement, and listening, would be more robust," he said.

The app could also provide a platform for location-based services at events like concerts, to help artists better connect with their most valued fans, Blau noted.

The app may also provide Twitter with more advertising revenue, Blau added.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is [email protected]


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