Twitter, the service that put microblogging on the digital map, is introducing a music feature that could give its users more to tweet about and another reason to stay logged in.
So far the company is keeping mum about exactly what that feature is; there is a page at music.twitter.com, but other than Twitter’s bird logo, "#music" and a sign-in tab — underneath the words "Invite Only" — the page is blank.
There are some hints about what Twitter may be up to, though. On Thursday the company confirmed weeks of rumors that it had bought We Are Hunted, which recommends new music to its users based on social-media conversation.
Shavone Charles, a spokeswoman for Twitter, declined to answer questions about the new service but directed reporters to an announcement by We Are Hunted that it was shutting down its own site, though it would "continue to create services that will delight you, as part of the Twitter team."
Another hint is the sign-in tab on the Twitter music page. It leads to a window asking for authorization for "Trending Music Web," an application that can scan users’ Twitter feeds, "update your profile" and "post tweets for you," suggesting the ability to alert users about what their friends are listening to. Plenty of other digital services have similar features, including Spotify, which can broadcast its users’ playlists through Facebook. Digital media executives say that Twitter’s advantage is the devotion of its customers.
Technology sites (and Twitter) were full of speculation about what the service would entail and how it would be opened and marketed. AllThingsD, a technology news site, reported late Thursday that the Twitter service may be introduced this weekend, in time for the beginning of the Coachella music festival in the Southern California desert. But Paul Tollett, the president of Goldenvoice, the company behind Coachella, said in an email today that Twitter had nothing official planned with the festival.
One thing that seemed clear was that the television and radio personality Ryan Seacrest had early access to the service. Seacrest sent a pair of tweets late Thursday saying that he was "playing with @twitter’s new music app (yes it’s real!)" and that it "shows what artists are trending, also has up and coming artists."
AllThingsD also reported today that the service would at first be open only to "influencers" like Seacrest.