Twitter’s Music Card Now Plays In Its Mobile Apps And Supports iTunes Previews

Twitter hit a bum note with its Twitter Music service, but everyone’s favorite 140-character social network is keen as ever to light up users’ timelines with the sound of music after it launched a spiffy new update to its music card.

The company already has a card that lets you play tracks in-tweet when you post a link to Soundcloud, but it now supports mobile play — via the official Twitter apps for iOS and Android — and it can be ‘docked’, meaning that your tracks continue to play while you use the mobile apps, or peruse your timeline on the desktop web.

twitter card music

That’s pretty neat if you’re into SoundCloud, like me, but Twitter also now supports iTunes. That means podcasts and music tracks, like ‘Something For Nothing’ from the upcoming album from the Foo Fighters, can be previewed inside a tweet. Equally, the new card allows users to easily buy music for the Apple service with just a few clicks from the tweet.

Twitter’s new music moves are notable for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the move to make music more interactive is part of the company’s push to attract more users and increase engagement among existing users.

Twitter found its growth decelerating last year and, as a public company, it needs to show investors and Wall Street that it can continue to grow into an Internet titan. A big push around the FIFA soccer football World Cup this summer helped it pick up new users, but it has been focused on pushing experiences with media to encourage that too. Music is a huge area for social networks — particularly on mobile — so bringing its in-tweet preview to smartphones could spark greater engagement among some users.

(This move towards media also explains the ‘Facebookization’ of Twitter, which has been redesigned and revamped to place emphasis on Twitter cards, video, images and audio.)

Then, of course, there is the potential for advertising, which is Twitter’s primary income. Creating a user base that is keen to consume music would make Twitter a logical place where artists, publishing houses, labels and others would come to to promote their music, new albums, etc. Likewise, the ability to preview tracks in a tweet is what Twitter hopes will make its Promoted Tweet ad units attractive to the music industry.

This tweet from DJ David Guetta, for example, could gain more eyeballs if it were promoted using Twitter’s advertising system.

The new cards are open to all partners, so we should expect others to follow SoundCloud and Apple’s lead soon enough.

Headline image via Getty Images