“Billboard and Twitter have partnered on a first-of-its-kind Billboard chart that will showcase the most talked-about songs on the social media platform,” announced Billboard yesterday. And strictly speaking, that’s true: it’s the first Billboard chart focused exclusively on Twitter (as opposed to the multi-social-network Social 50 chart that launched in 2010) and it’s the first Twitter music chart with Billboard as its partner (as opposed to Twitter #Music, the 2013 discovery app that Twitter launched after buying startup We Are Hunted).
Even so, the new Billboard Hot Trending chart does feel a little out of place in a 2021. Not only does music trend on a host of social platforms, including TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat, but Twitter is currently catching a lot of flak from music rightsholders over issues including licensing and anti-piracy measures. That said, perhaps 2021 is the ideal year for a Twitter chart throwback to a decade ago, given that this year has also seen a Spotify / Facebook integration (like in 2011) and the mooted return of not one but two Turntable·fms (heyday: also 2011).
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