Spotify testing ability to let friends control the Now Playing list

Patrick Devaney


Our music collections have come a long way recently. We’ve come all the way from vinyl records and 8-tracks to constant access to almost limitless collections of music from around the world. We can now hear a song on the radio, internet, or wherever else we discover new tracks and then listen to them whenever and wherever we want via online streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and Deezer.

Spotify app on a phone

It’s not just us though, is it? We’re not the only ones listening to the music we love. No, we’ve all got at least one of those friends who always has a tune they want you to hear. Music is a very personal thing, but it is also very much a social experience you share with your friends and family. In recognition of music’s social side, Spotify is working on a great new feature that will put everybody in charge of the party.

New Spotify ‘Social Listening’ feature allows friends to control the Now Playing playlist together

Thanks to top tech tipster Jane Manchun Wong, we’re able to bring you news of a new exclusive Spotify feature the streaming service is currently testing on its employees. On a recent dive into the code of Spotify’s Android app, Manchun Wong has found a new feature that gives friends real-time control over the Now Playing playlist. This is similar to the collaborative playlist feature, but all additions will play out as they happen, rather than being stored in a playlist for later use.

For now, the feature is only available for Spotify employees, but we can give you a little rundown on what it’ll look like and how it’ll work once it lands on your version of the app.

When the feature is live, you’ll be able to find a “Connect with friends” option when you go to the connected devices screen. Selecting this option will reveal a QR code or a link. Your friends and family can then scan the QR code or you can send them the link to join both your Spotify apps. Once done, the Now Listening playlist will be linked and anybody who is connected will be able to add or remove songs to the list.

Spotify social features
Image via: @wongmjane

There are two major caveats, however, to this leaked Spotify feature. The first is that there is no official word on when the feature will receive a general roll-out. As this is an internal test, the feature might not ever make it to the general public. The second is that, as Manchun Wong isn’t an employee of Spotify, she wasn’t able to test the feature after she discovered it. This means we don’t know how smoothly it works or if the music streaming service still has a few bugs to iron out of the code.

For anybody, who has ever been to a party and been stuck for what song to put on next, however, this feature will be good news. Let’s hope we hear more from Spotify soon.

You may also like