Spotify defends new Facebook requirement

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:

Topic: Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

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.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Spotify defends new Facebook requirement

    What a fascist move, Spotify. Is there no freedom of choice anymore? I don't need my boss on my Facebook knowing that I'm listening to uncensored Snoop Dogg Gin and Juice or NWA Straight Outta Compton. What am I supposed to do, only listen to Pat Boone and Taylor Swift so I don't offend anybody? I don't trust Facebook's privacy settings because they just change them at whim without notifying us. So anytime someone says, "Just change your privacy settings, I remind them of my aunt who was fired for a private chat because nobody told her that Facebook changed her privacy settings without her permission. This internet world is becoming a friggin police state. Spotify, you have just forfeited your cool credentials.
  • RE: Spotify defends new Facebook requirement

    It's very sad what Facebook has done to the software industry. The software industry had a long and proud tradition of **ethics**, that is, of taking the high road when it came to interactions with its users -- of not doing things that exposed users to risk -- whether it be risks to privacy, safety, identity theft, etc. Facebook has completely overturned that long-standing tradition. It's very obvious that Zuckerberg in fact GETS OFF on exposing his users to incredible risk. This is in fact what drives hackers like Zuckerberg: the need to have situations of ever-increasing exposure to regular people, and also increasing levels of risk. As someone who's been in the software industry for close to 18 years now, it's incredibly, incredibly sad what Zuckerberg in particular has done to ETHICS in this field. Then Spotify comes along and just puts out a 2-paragraph statement, becoming yet another company to simply discard what is so, SO important -- the TREATMENT OF THE USERS, PUTTING THE USERS' GOOD FIRST. At the end of the day, Facebook and others may succeed to some extent in all of this intrusion and discarding of ethics, but... the good news is that ethics, honor, integrity... these will never go away. Thank God.
    • RE: Spotify defends new Facebook requirement

      I think you may be right. Ethics don't go away so perhaps that means that Zuckerburg never had any to begin with?
  • Hmmmm.

    Well, just one more service I will never sign up for, then.

    If I wanted people to know exactly what music I was listening to at the moment, I'd throw away my earbuds & get a 1980s boom box to carry around...
  • RE: Spotify defends new Facebook requirement

    I love their claim of a "seamless social experience" . . .
    it's totally twisted logic. Of course there are no seams, since they don't connect to anything else or let you sign up for Spotify without FB. No connections, no seams needed. So they are either morons or they think the rest of us are.
  • RE: Spotify defends new Facebook requirement

    Glad to know that I'll never do business with Spotify since I'll NEVER do Facebook!
    Bad enough I'm commenting on ZDNet.
  • RE: Spotify defends new Facebook requirement

    So, the cost of Spotify is to give up your personal information to Facebook?

    No thanks, not in a million years.

    Spotify, when FB turns into MySpace (as it will eventually), I really hope you go down with the ship.
  • RE: Spotify defends new Facebook requirement

    SCREW FB and Spotify!!!!!!!!!
    Denny Fry
  • Cutting it's nose off in spite of it's face.

    Literally this is what Spotify is doing. By REQUIRING that users have a Facebook account they're essentially sealing OUT the larger market who WONT start a Facebook account.

    Sites that do this are dead to me. DEAD TO ME!

    It's sad to see that such a potentially awesome site like Spotify commit suicide like it has.
  • RE: Spotify defends new Facebook requirement

    I see that Spotify have caved to pressure and now offer Private Listening....

    is it enough?
  • Private Listening

    There is a feature called "Private Listening" so these complaints about your boss and others seeing what you listen to are meritless.

    "Spotify today responded to those concerns. Founder and CEO Daniel Ek announced via Twitter this morning that the company has developed an update to the service that will include a 'private listening' function. It's basically a check-box that users can quickly turn on or off and thereby control when the music they're listening to will appear in their Facebook feed and when it won't." - Source:
  • RE: Spotify defends new Facebook requirement

    It would seem to me that ANY corporation would know that the satisfaction of the customer is paramount. By forcing anyone to do anything they don't want to is the fastest way to go out of business. Weather their products or services for sale or not.