Want Spotify? Get a Facebook account [UPDATE; Spotify responds]

spotify hearts facebook

Spotify is hedging its bets on Facebook — not a bad choice, but still a controversial one. Since the music streaming service was first rumored to be making its US debut, Facebook integration has been touted as an included feature and part of Spotify’s growth strategy. But now that the two are more than a little intertwined, users are calling foul.

Now that Spotify accounts are open in the U.S., potential customers are flocking to site only to find out that a Facebook profile is required in order to sign-up for the music service. The same is now true for Spotify’s European side, which has been operating since 2008. If you’re going to tie your fate to any business, Facebook is definitely the right one — but that doesn’t mean you can avoid consumer outrage.

Those who don’t currently have a Spotify account will see a message reading “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 an account, get one by clicking the ‘create an account’ link below.”

spotify

Plenty of websites have instituted a must-have-Facebook policy, but usually it’s in regards to commenting or integrating a smaller service into your Facebook account. The difference here is that Spotify is a big name that undoubtedly has the potential to exist on its own–it is already a hit overseas. It’s obviously getting a huge helping hand from Facebook integration, but it almost seems like it’s cheapening itself to little more than a Facebook add-on by going this route.

What’s possibly more indicative about Spotify’s Facebook-only requirements is that the social network’s Open Graph agenda is working. The immense amount of user information you’re able to get from the developer platform upgrade is more than a little tempting, but it’s still surprising when a company like Spotify goes all in and banks on a fully-dependent Facebook partnership. It means that you have no choice but to make the music experience a social one as well, and while plenty of statistics and reports about Facebook user habits show we want this, the handful that don’t are being inadvertently directed toward Spotify’s competitors. Of course, it makes us wonder if there are other media distribution companies that will take this same route in the future and lead to Facebook establishing a control the likes of which we haven’t seen.

And those who will turn to a music application that doesn’t include a Facebook ultimatum will be able to avoid the listening ticker updates. Syncing your Spotify listening to a friend’s is one of the best new features the integration has brought to the plate, but at the same time it has managed to overwhelm and annoy some users. If you’re one of them (or just want to keep embarrassing playlists to yourself), follow these steps:

  1. In Spotify, find and select “Preferences.”
  2. Find the Facebook section.
  3. Uncheck “Get personal recommendations by sending music you play to Facebook’s Open Graph.”

Simple enough. It gets a little more complicated if you want to share with a handful of friends:

  1. Go to your Facebook privacy settings.
  2. Find “Apps and websites.”

Under there, you should see Spotify. Then head to “App activity privacy.” From there you can pick and choose how your listening history makes its way to Facebook.

[UPDATE]

Spotify has responded to criticism concerning the obligatory Facebook integration. See below.

“To us, this 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 today, 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 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.”

Music

Tune in to the best internet radio stations for your listening pleasure

Even in the streaming era, radio stations get some of the best exclusives and curate some of the finest handpicked playlists around. Here are the best internet radio stations, for your listening pleasure.
Home Theater

Bose Noise Cancelling 700 vs. QC35 II: Are Bose’s newest headphones worth it?

The Bose Noise Cancelling 700 are the company's new flagship headphones, but how do they stack up to their older, still-beloved, QC35 II model? We compare both pairs of headphones in terms of features, performance, and sound.
Music

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.
Home Theater

The best MP3 players of 2019 cram tons of music into a small package

Want to go for a run, but your phone is weighing you down? Don't sweat it. Can't fit your whole music library on your smartphone? No worries. Check out our list of the best MP3 players, and find one that works for you.
Music

What is hi-res audio and how can you experience it right now?

High-resolution audio has gone from audiophile novelty to mainstream attraction, but understanding it isn’t easy. Here’s what “hi-res” really means for you, and why you shouldn’t just brush it off as another marketing gimmick.
Home Theater

Get the most boom for your buck with the best headphones under $100

Everybody wants a bargain, and this list has a bunch. For those looking for a solid set of headphones without spending a big stack of cash, this list is your ultimate guide. Check out our picks for the best headphones under $100.
Home Theater

Bose Noise Cancelling 700 vs. Sony WH-1000XM3: Which headphones should you buy?

Sony's WH-1000XM3 were considered the high watermark in noise-canceling headphones when they came out last year, but now Bose is back with an intriguing new pair. How do the Bose Noise Cancelling 700 stack up against Sony's best? Let's find…
Music

Don’t let spotty Wi-Fi keep you from Spotify. Here's how to download your songs

Did you know you can download up to 3,333 songs on your device with Spotify Premium? The process is incredibly straightforward, too, and literally takes seconds. Here's how to do it.
Home Theater

Looking to add songs from SoundCloud to your music collection? Here's how

Have you found a great new artist on SoundCloud and want to add their tracks to your music collection? It's not always easy, so to make your life easier, here's our guide showing you how to download songs from SoundCloud.
Mobile

Find out everything you need to know about video-making and sharing app TikTok

TikTok, the latest video craze, is a free app for iOS and Android that specializes in 15-second, musically oriented videos. Check out musical genres like hip-hop, EDM, pop, rock, and country, tailored to various viewing categories.
Home Theater

Rock out, dance, or just nod along with the best Bluetooth speakers

The market is saturated with wireless audio solutions fit for any and all circumstances. Check out our picks for the best Bluetooth speakers available, whether you'll be listening in the kitchen or on a mountaintop.
Music

Bolster your HD music catalog with the best high-res audio sites

Music connoisseurs relish HD audio, but scouring the web for all the best streaming and downloading sites can be a pain. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Check out our list, and let the high-resolution good times roll.
Music

Should you press play or skip on Apple Music? Here's what you need to know

Ever since its debut, Apple Music has been gaining on market leader Spotify. But what accounts for Apple Music's popularity? How do you sign up and listen? Find out about all of this and more in our Apple Music explainer.
Music

The best new music this week: Júníus Meyvant, Marika Hackman, and more

Looking for the best new music? Each week, we scour the internet to find the most compelling new releases just for you. This week: Júníus Meyvant, Marika Hackman, Fionn Regan, Pete Yorn, Ra Ra Riot, and WHY?.