|Swedish music streaming service Spotify has launched a major upgrade to the Spotify experience giving users more ways to connect to new music. The big vibe with these new features is social media, in two flavors: Facebook and music sharing.
The Facebook integration lets users hook their Spotify information flow into their Facebook account, so your friends can see what you're listening to (and Spotify of course gets free advertising by have their name all over Facebook).
There's also Spotify Profiles, which gives everyone a unique ID so they can recommend artists, songs and playlists to other Spotify friends. They've added a feed so that you can stay current on what your friends are listening to.
They've also added improved phone integration, so that you can download your playlist for offline use. This is where Spotify stops streaming your music and literally makes a copy that you own. This puts them in direct competition with the new Rhapsody player with same feature.
So the bottom line here is that Spotify wants in on the social media phenomenon, and wants more advertising revenue. The users get more features though, it's a significant upgrade.
Spotify also has plans for a U.S. launch later this year. It's been known as a highly popular European phenomenon until now (7 million euromembers) , but they're looking to cash in on an American audience.
Spotify has been buying server space in North America in anticipation of the launch. Senior Vice President Paul Brown told Bloomberg the wheels are in motion.