Spotify unveils ‘private listening’ after Facebook users complain


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Spotify, which has gotten a huge boost from last week’s integration with Facebook, is rolling out a new privacy feature after complaints from users of the social networking service.

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg introduced ‘frictionless sharing’ at the company’s annual developers conference in San Francisco. Spotify Chief Executive Daniel Ek appeared on stage with Zuckerberg at F8 to introduce the streaming music feature that broadcasts to friends on Facebook every song listened to by users.


Spotify then quietly changed its policy to say that all new users of its service must sign up with a Facebook account rather than their email address. That prompted hundreds of complaints on Spotify’s blog and Get Satisfaction support forum.

On Thursday, Ek said Spotify would roll out a new desktop client that has a ‘private listening’ feature that enables users to listen to music without informing friends. The feature can be turned on and off from a menu bar.

‘We’re rolling out a new client as we speak where you can temporarily hide your guilty pleasures. It works like a browser’s private mode,’ Ek tweeted.

Privacy rights groups likely won’t be placated. They filed a letter with the Federal Trade Commission alleging that Facebook’s new sharing features violate users’ privacy.


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