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Twitter Launching Standalone Music Service; Windows 8 App

Last year Twitter reportedly acquired San Francisco-based music discovery service We Are Hunted. Now the social network plans to launch a music app, Twitter Music, by the end of the month.

Unnamed sources have informed CNET that Twitter Music will suggest artists and songs based on "a variety of signals". It will also be personalized based on what the user is following on Twitter. Songs will be streamed to the app through SoundCloud.

According to the report, Twitter Music will be powered by technology developed by We Are Hunted. Twitter hasn't announced anything official regarding the actual acquisition, but sources claim that it happened within the last six months. The tech was created by four Australian developers in 2009: Stephen Phillips, Richard Slatter, Michael Doherty and Nick Crocker. Investor Graeme Wood dumped $3 million into the project, and on April 17, 2009, We Are Hunted opened its doors to the public.

Some of the company's accomplishments include music discovery apps for smartphones and tablets including Music Hunter for iPad and Super Sonic for iPhone. We Are Hunted's service creates Billboard-style  music charts by pulling in information from blogs, social media, message boards and BitTorrent. It allows users to stream music, create playlists and share their favorites on social networks.

"We Are Hunted is one of the World's leading music discovery services," reads the company website. "The company publishes awesome music charts, recognized by industry insiders as the best source of new music in the world today. Behind the scenes, We Are Hunted is a software company that has developed proprietary search technology that continuously scans the web to find the hottest new music in the World today."

The upcoming Twitter Music app will consist of a number of tabs including "Suggested", "Popular", "Now Playing" and "Emerging". The "Suggested" tab lists songs and artists based on the user's follower graph, meaning artists they are following, and artists that other people they follow are following. The "Now Playing" tab captures tweets from people the user follows who uses the #NowPlaying hashtag. "Popular" lists the trending songs and "Emerging" lists up-and-coming artists.

"Artists and songs are displayed in an elegant grid design," CNET reports. "Tapping on the tile for an artist causes the tile to expand, showing a short biography along with links to any music the artist has stored on SoundCloud, or to song previews from the iTunes store. Users then tap a 'play' button to start streaming the music."

How this new Twitter Music service will compete with the likes of Spotify and Pandora has yet to be seen. The We Are Hunted website is now void of any relevant information including the company bio. CNET reports that the company's Twitter account has been inactive for weeks. This could signify an upcoming launch and an official announcement from Twitter about the acquisition.

Meanwhile, Twitter has officially gone public with the launch of a new Windows 8 app (no insider hoopla here). This new screen-consuming app not only brings to the Windows 8 platform all the familiar Twitter features you've come to love on other platforms, but new goodies that take advantage of Microsoft's blocky new OS.

According to the Twitter blog, Snap View can be used to place another app alongside Twitter, and the Share charm allows the user to tweet from any app at any time. The Share charm makes it easy to find an account or see Tweets using a certain hashtag, and Live Tiles and notifications keep you connected without having to launch the actual app. Users can also view photos in an all-new landscape view.


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