Music-focused social network SoundTracking released a new version of its smartphone app today, one that co-founder and CEO Steve Jang said will make the app useful beyond “hardcore music lovers.”
We’re also hearing that SoundTracking has reached an agreement with Sprint, with SoundTracking being preloaded or featured on certain Sprint Android phones starting next spring. However, Jang declined to comment on any potential partnership, so hopefully we’ll know more about that soon.
Anyway, back to the updated app. There’s a new design with features like larger photos and brighter colors, but the most interesting addition is probably a Discover section, which is basically a new take on finding music through Soundtracking.
Previously, people discover music based on what was shared by the users they followed. With the new section, you can find music in a way that’s not subject to the randomness of who you follow and when you checked your newsfeed. There’s a song of the day chosen by the SoundTracking team (something the company was already experimenting with via email, and which got a positive response), hashtag-based search, and charts of general trending music and music nearby.
Jang said he plans to go further in this direction with more charts focusing on different types of music.
The obvious comparison seems to be Twitter #Music, an app that recommends music based on what people are tweeting. Jang suggested that social networks in general have moved toward personalized recommendations that less reliant on timelines and on who you follow. On the other hand, a recent report suggested that usage of the #Music app has declined and that Twitter may shut it down. The problem in that case, Jang suggested, is that people wanted that experience in Twitter itself, not in a separate app.
Jang added that 14 million tweets, Facebook status updates, Instagram pictures, Foursquare check ins, emails, and SMS messages are sent each day from SoundTracking. Users have created a total of 40 million music moments, which have been shared more than 6 billion times and viewed 530 million times within the company’s mobile and web apps.
“The stats reflect that we continue to create a product that’s’ really great for expression, sharing, and outbound messaging,” he said. “I think our work on the Discover section and charts and personalized is really going to address the other side. … Now we need to help people who love music that are little bit more passive, more of viewing and listening type.”
” So we can expect more “lean back” type experiences to come in the future.