Spotify defends new Facebook requirement

Summary:Spotify has released another statement explaining why it is embracing Facebook so closely. The real reason is simple: the music service wants to use the social network to grow its user base.

Yesterday, it was widely reported that as part of Spotify's big integration with Facebook, the music service has started using Facebook Connect. Some companies use it as an optional way to sign up and login to their service, but Spotify has made it mandatory: you now need to use your Facebook credentials to sign up for Spotify.

In other words, if you don't have a Facebook account, you can't get a Spotify account. Existing Spotify users are not affected by this change. The following message is on the Spotify sign-up page:

You need a Facebook account to register for Spotify. If you have an account, just log in below to register. If you don't have a Facebook account, get one by clicking the 'create an account' link below.

In response to a Get Satisfaction question ("Can you sign up for Spotify without Facebook?") a Spotify employee Darren posted the following:

Hey Guys thanks for your question, Unfortunately you will need a Facebook account to access Spotify from now on, unless you already have an account set up.

This does not stop you creating the Facebook account adding nothing to it and making it totally private as the Facebook account does not have to be actively used.

This pissed a lot of people off. The company decided to follow up and explain itself a bit more. A Spotify employee by the name of Andres posted the following:

To us, this integration is all about creating an amazing new world of music discovery. As most of our users are already social and have already connected to Facebook, it seemed logical to integrate Spotify and Facebook logins. We already use Facebook as part of our backend to power our social features and by adopting Facebook’s login, we've created a simple and seamless social experience.

From this week, all new Spotify users will need to have a Facebook account to join Spotify. Think of it as like a virtual 'passport', designed to make the experience smoother and easier, with one less username and password to remember. You don't need to connect to Facebook and if you do decide to, you can always control what you share and don't share by changing your Spotify settings from the Preferences menu at any time.

We're constantly trying new things, always looking for feedback and we're always going to listen to our users, making changes based on this feedback wherever we can.

The "it seemed logical" explanation only seems to have fueled the fire. People who don't have Facebook accounts at all, and even some of those who do, don't necessarily want to these two separate services to be linked together.

Spotify argues that most of its users are already on the social network, and the service uses Facebook on the backend for its social features anyway. The company just doesn't see what all the fuss is about: you don't have to connect your account to Facebook unless you really want to, and you can still control what you share and don't share in your Facebook Timeline.

Most users are probably just happy they have one less username and password to remember. In fact, App Data shows that Spotify has added over 1.3 million new monthly active users and 380,000 new daily active users in the last week. A jump after f8 is not surprising, but we have to remember that these numbers are unofficial. Spotify will likely release new numbers soon (last week, the company confirmed it has over 2 million paid users and 10 million total listeners).

The streaming giant undoubtedly wants to see that number grow, and it sees Facebook as the best way to do that. After all, the social network has 800 million active users as of last week.

Spotify is one of Facebook's 17 Open Graph launch partners that were announced at Facebook's f8 conference last week. These new social apps are meant to help you discover what your friends are currently doing (via the Ticker).

Music apps, such as Spotify's, tell you what your friends are listening to. Think of it as a very clever advertisement, and you'll understand why Spotify is so eager to embrace Facebook.

See also:

Topics: Social Enterprise

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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