Spotify is following the lead of social networks like Facebook, which deliver a constant stream of notifications under a “bell” icon on the mobile app, with the goal of keeping users engaged with the latest content. This morning, Spotify inserted what it calls the “What’s New” feed, which will offer an ongoing series of updates to mobile app users focusing on new releases.
According to the company, the What’s New feed will serve as another way for Spotify users to stay up-to-date with all the new music and podcasts that are released from the shows and artists you follow on the service. In other words, it’s a personalized feed based on what you listen to, not a universal feed or one that you customize more explicitly by making specific selections.
The feed will be visible under the new “bell” icon that will appear at the top of the Home tab along with the Recently Played and Settings icons at the top right.
The feed will also update in real time, Spotify says, showing a blue dot when there are new songs and episodes that have arrived since you last opened the app. Previously, you could find information about new releases in various places in the app, including the Home tab and in the hubs on the app’s search page.
While the feature can be useful as it gives you a single place to search the Spotify app for everything that is new, using a “notifications” feature that takes advantage of the points is also a psychological trick that people understand today can make apps more addictive. The dots express a sense of urgency, making you feel like you need to click to see what’s new or even just to erase the dot. In fact, there was such a backlash against the overabundance of these points within social apps that even Facebook a couple of years ago It implemented tools that allow you to disable its annoying red notification dots. (To be fair, Facebook hasn’t fully embraced removing red dots – the default is still set to “on” and there are plenty of notification dots all over their website today.)
So while it’s a seemingly minor addition to the Spotify app, it’s actually pretty calculated, and one that strays away from the human technology movement that emerged in recent years as a way to counter overuse of growth hacks and other tricks to make apps more addictive.
Apple, for example, has added consumer-facing tools that put users back in control of when apps might notify them, even with the upcoming version of iOS 15, which allows you to group notifications into daily summaries for less important applications or switch applications to “Focus” modes for when you need fewer distractions. TikTok, meanwhile, insert videos They remind you when you’ve been staring for too long. Instagram aggregate a message at the bottom of your feed to let you know you were “up to date”.
Spotify, launching a more eye-catching notifications feature, is doing the opposite – it wants to increase user engagement, even if it understands that it may be sacrificing some sense of user comfort and enjoyment in the process.
What’s New will be released to all users around the world on iOS and Android in the coming weeks.