There’s a new way to listen to music – and, indeed, other kinds of audio – on Twitter. The social network launched its latest feature last night: the Twitter Audio Card.
It’s a way to stream audio directly from tweets, but then continue listening in the background as you carry on using the app.
“With a single tap, the Twitter Audio Card lets you discover and listen to audio directly in your timeline on both iOS and Android devices,” explained the company. “Throughout your listening experience, you can dock the Audio Card and keep listening as you continue to browse inside the Twitter app.”
The new card will work with third-party streaming services, and SoundCloud is the first to take advantage. A host of musicians and other creators’ SoundCloud tracks will now play within tweets, including the likes of Coldplay, Martin Garrix, Size Records, Chance The Rapper, Chromeo and David Guetta.
In fact, Guetta took advantage of the new feature by releasing an exclusive remix, while Chance The Rapper unveiled a new track. Twitter said it’s planning to make the new card available to more partners and creators in the future.
Wondering how this differs from the Twitter / SoundCloud deal in 2012 that saw SoundCloud streams working as HTML5 widgets within ‘expanded’ tweets? Well, it’s all about mobile: the new Twitter Audio Card works on smartphones, not just on the desktop.
And while SoundCloud was named as the first partner for it, a second followed an hour after the initial announcement: iTunes. “Now, when you listen to music from select iTunes artists, it’ll only take a few taps to pre-order unreleased music and purchase your favourite songs directly from iTunes,” explained Twitter, as the Foo Fighters became the first artist to try that feature out.
In separate but possibly-relevant-at-some-point news, Twitter has also announced that its experiments to insert tweets into people’s timelines from accounts they don’t follow – not because they’re paid ads, but because its algorithm thinks they’ll be of interest – is becoming an official feature.
“Testing indicated that most people enjoy seeing Tweets from accounts they may not follow, based on signals such as activity from accounts you do follow, the popularity of the Tweets, and how people in your network interact with them,” the company explained. “These experiments now inform the timeline you see today.”
Perhaps some of the new Audio Cards will be among the tweets to benefit.