Spotify Beta Testing GIF-Laden Personalized Feed

When experts said that the future of social media is starting to look more and more like TikTok, they didn't take music streaming services into account. Spotify has announced that it is beta testing a personalized feed that will introduce users to new music on the home page using GIF-laden Canvas loops.

A Canvas loop, which Spotify released in 2019, is a vertical GIF that plays on select songs no matter how old they are. Some Canvas loops play parts of a music video that accompanies the song, while others play advertisements for an artist's upcoming concert or album release. For example, "Sunflower" by Post Malone plays a loop of Miles Morales jumping off a building in "Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse," while "Still Waiting" by Sum 41 would play a loop advertising their new album.

Republic product lead Chris Messina tweeted a video of Spotify testing the feature in November 2021, which shows a series of videos playing along with the songs in the same style as TikTok. Here's how they play out.

How Spotify's new personalized feed will work

Starting Friday, April 8, Spotify will start testing the TikTok-style personalized feed on the app's home page for users living in the U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Every day, the vertical video feed will recommend 15 new songs for users to scroll through, preview, and see the Canvas for each song to add to their playlist. If they happen to like the song recommended to them, they can follow the artist and share it with other people on their social media feeds like Instagram, and the Canvas will play in their story.

Not everyone liked the idea of Canvas loops when they came out on Spotify three years ago. While they hearken back to the days of watching music videos on MTV, they can also be distracting, especially when users are driving and stick their phones to a car vent magnet — a problem that's resolved with Car View and Car Thing. Canvas may have been the best innovation on Spotify's record, as it claimed that users were 145% more likely to continue streaming, sharing, and adding songs that contain Canvas loops to their playlist.

There's no word on when Spotify users in the U.S. will be able to see the Canvas loop feeds, as it's Spotify's biggest market. Whether it will either test the feature in that market last or make it one of the places where it will officially launch is currently unknown.