The fine folks over at Grooveshark have just released Twisten.fm. Like Blip.fm, Twisten.fm combines micro-blogging and music, and like Blip.fm, instead of creating an entirely new microblogging network, Twisten.fm piggybacks on top of the existing Twitter network.
With twisten, you can make tweets with just about any song in the world (Grooveshark has millions of tracks in its catalog) – twisten will automatically generate a twisten tiny url to the song, and if any of your twitter followers click on the link, they are taken directly to the song page on Grooveshark where they can listen to the song.
Here’s what the song tweet looks like on twitter:
Twisten makes it easy for you to tell your twitter followers that you like a song – with Twisten, you just type the name of the song, and twisten does all of the hard work of finding the song in the catalog, generating a tiny URL for the song and posting it to Twitter.
Twisten also makes it easy to listen to music posted by others. If you use the Twisten web app, you can easily listen and browse all of the twisten tweets of your followees or the world at large.
With the twisten app, you just see the Twisten tweets, which makes it a perfect app for browsing through new music. It is easy to listen, since the player is embedded right in the page. You can also listen to the music that is being posted by everyone.
I suspect that Twisten.fm is going to be a really big deal. First and foremost, it is an incredibly viral app. Just by using Twisten, you are telling all the world about it. 18 hours after it’s release, Twisten is #6 on the list of Twitter trending topics.
Second, it doesn’t re-invent the wheel. Instead of building a whole new social network, it sits on top of Twitter, one of the largest existing social networks – it doesn’t have to build up a network from scratch.
Twisten is really neat, I like it a lot – still, there are a few places where it could be improved.
First of all, when listening to music on the Twisten site, the music should never stop when I navigate to a different part of the site. Right now, if I’m listening to a particular tweet, and decide to check out what ‘everybody is listening to’, the music stops. The main Grooveshark app does a much better job of keeping the music playing all the time whilst one navigates through the site.
Currently, when I click on a twisten tiny url in twitter to listen to a song, instead of taking me to Twisten, the URL takes me to Grooveshark. I understand that Grooveshark is hosting all of the music, but it seems to me that if you want to really make Twisten go viral, the links should bring listeners straight to Twisten, where they can listen to the music, and while there, start Twisten their own tweets.
The listening experience on Twisten is a hunt-and-peck style. I see a song, I click on it, I listening to it, and then I go and find the next song. That’s fine when I am exploring for new music, but if I just want to listen to music, I’d like to be able to turn Twisten into a radio station, where I listen to the music that my friends have been twittering. Ideally, I should be able to listen to tweets all day without having to click a mouse button. TheSixtyOne does a great job of keeping the music flowing. Twisten should follow their model.
I wish Twisten.fm would scrobble all my tweets and listens – it’d be great if every music app in the world scrobbled my listening behavior.
Twisten is able to collect all sorts of interesting information about who is listening to what music. I hope they do some interesting things with this data. For instance, they could create a Twitter Music Zeitgest that shows the songs and artists that are rising, popular, or falling. Since Twisten knows what I’ve been listening to, and what I like (because I can ‘favorite’ twisten songs), Twisten should be able to connect me up with other Twisten listeners that have similar tastes so I can use their twitters and listens to guide my own listening. Twisten is going to be able to collect lots and lots of user listener data, so it should be interesting to see what they do with it all.
Twisten has the potential to be the real breakout music application of 2009. It has all the ingredients – a huge catalog of free music, and a viral model that leverages one of the largest and most active social networks. When iLike released it’s facebook app, iLike became the fastest growing music app ever, adding 3 million users in two weeks. Twisten has a good chance to do the same thing.