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Social takes another swipe at music with Instagram @Music

instagram logo and music notesMusic and social have tried to marry, but never gotten past the dating stage. Twitter tried and failed. Instagram has started a new attempt.

On the music-service side, social features are included. You can follow your friends’ listening on Pandora and Spotify, for example. In the on-demand services (spotify, Rhapsody, others) you can share and archive playlists. But this sort of social stalking is not full-featured social communing. It might make more sense for a platform steeped in social values — that is to say, a social network — to marry into the music family, rather than the reverse.

Instagram has launched a music channel, sensibly called @Music. The attempt is to organize its 300-million users around music as a passion point for shareable photos and videos. The channel will be stocked with curated content, some of it supplied by music celebs, with accompanying editorial written by Instagram staffers. At the same time, all users are invited to contribute to the new community. (Click here for examples.) It’s like a music news/celeb website, but in the Instagram mold.

Twitter operated a music portion called #Music, which surfaced listenable songs based on Twitter activity. It was a very good idea, attractively laid out, and its shutdown in the fall of 2013 illustrated how difficult it is to marry music with a general-purpose social juggernaut.

Brad Hill

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