I wasn’t a first time fan of Spotify, but I eventually started to use the service, ended up loving it and moved to the premium plan to get rid of the ads. In less than 2 weeks Spotify managed to change the way I had been consuming music since Audio Galaxy popped out – In other words I started to pay for my music. I’m really grateful to Spotify for that. Like most of the user base, I also love the catalogue, the software, the mobile app, the design. I more or less love everything, except one feature: Facebook’s integration.
Even though the first integration of the social network had been acclaimed back in 2010, I rapidly had some concerns regarding the fact it was not even possible to have a decent profile on Spotify without having a Facebook account linked in. No way to add an avatar or to write a short bio. Quite annoying but to be fair, this was a minor issue, and even if I didn’t like it, the way Spotify was relying on Facebook for its social features was both intelligent and logical.
But since the recent and apparently successful evolution of the service, and the deeper integration with Facebook, it really looks like Spotify has sold its soul to the social network. The deal is simple, Spotify links are all over the place as listened tracks are automatically displayed in users’ feed (now kind of fixed, but they still have tried…), and in exchange, a Facebook account is required to sign up to Spotify. Consequently, a relatively interesting twist shown up: you need to be 13 to have a Facebook account, otherwise you’re not respecting Zuck’s T&Cs. This means that you can’t offer Spotify to your little brother if he’s under 13. It’s against Facebook terms, that need to be accepted on top of Spotify’s.
For a lot, this is a storm in a tea-cup, but you’ll also note that the minimum age to open a Spotify account is 12, according to their current T&C’s. In that case, my 12 years old brother is therefore forced by Spotify to infringe Facebook’s terms if he wants to open a Spotify account (screenshots). Even though this is completely symbolic, I like to believe it’s worth stressing, that by flirting with Facebook, Spotify is losing its fairness. The next step is obviously to kindly invite all Spotify users to accept new terms, and to ask them to link their Facebook account with Spotify to keep using the service. I love Spotify, but if they want me to join a social network to stream my library, I will definitely not think twice before deleting my account.