Data & Stuff // Neil Houston

Yeap, data and stuff
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    April 27th, 2010Neil HUncategorized

    Back in April, at SXSW, Daniel Ek (Spotify CEO) talked about the future for the company, one key theme was the understanding that they need to make sharing music easier for their users. They also didn’t want to force users to create new social networks to do so, I blogged my thoughts on Music Discovery after the event.

    Just over a month later, it’s here the ‘Next Generation Spotify‘ which amongst other features allows you to share playlists amongst Spotify user and Facebook friends ‘with ease’.

    One thing you might want to consider, straight after authorising Spotify to connect with Facebook, is exactly what have you allowed it to do?

    As you can see, the standard set of interactions, that allow the App to post things to your profile. One new one for me is the ‘access data at any time’ option; let me know how Spotify might use that in the comments.

    Usage Auto-Post
    So when you’ve linked your account, it will automatically post to your wall and let people know you are on Spotify. OK So far, I’ll let the app do that.

    Playlist Privacy
    The app, will allow you to edit which of your playlists are publically shared (by default they ALL are), may be worth considering if you want certain playlists not to be shared. Also by default all future playlists you create will be automatically shared. Untick the box to sort that out, if you so wish.

    After all, do you really want to know the contents of ‘Music to put my makeup on to’; or the fact it’s in my collection!

    Facebook Interaction
    So now, as we have some friends, I can peruse what playlists they have let me see. Now what happens if I decide to add one of their playlists (or one they have added), to my Spotify account?

    Spotify will automatically post the fact you have added this playlist, to Facebook. There is no prompt notifying you are ‘do you want to share’ to Facebook. I was disappointed when I opened Facebook and had seen the Spotify app post a lot of messages on my behalf. Yes I had granted it permission to, but thought there may have been clearer notification within the App.

    Alter Wall Posting Behaviour
    If you don’t want this to happen, straight after you have Connected to Facebook with the App, hit the Cog, on the people bar and click ‘Disable Posting To Facebook’.

    You will still be able to manually have share links etc, as well as being able to access your friends list.

    Initial Thoughts
    Some of my tweets on the subject were rather strong, due to being shocked that even though I had granted access, I was not made aware of the implication. In another post, I’ll likely look at how mflow use Facebook and Twitter integration, and see if their method is more transparent to the user, as well as appearing ‘less spammy’ to the end user.

    There is some great optional implementation of sharing to social networks, just next time Spotify let me know OK? See this way looks fine to me:

    This also ties in the talk by danah boyd, at SXSW regarding approaches to Privacy & Publicity; sometimes companies will encroach on whats reasonable, and then potentially take a step back ‘a la’ Google Buzz.

    Some thoughts for you, please leave a comment…

    • Was it clear to you what access you granted it?
    • How did you react when you spotted it posting away to your wall?
    • Obvious it was going to do so?
    • Obvious how to stop it?
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