Twitter #music arrives first on iOS, then the web

There’s been a lot of talk and rumors flying about Twitter’s new music discovery service, but today the social network revealed the details and launched the first app for it.

Based partly on the social site’s recent acquisition of the music startup We Are Hunted, Twitter #music is described as a "new service that will change the way people find music".

It uses activity on Twitter (such as tweets and general engagement) to identify the most popular tracks and emerging artists and lets you listen to previews from iTunes. If you have a Rdio or Spotify account, you can log in to those and enjoy the full tracks.

Twitter says it plans to add additional music sources in due course.

The Twitter #music app, which is available for iOS now, offers four main tabs -- Popular (new music trending on Twitter), Emerging (hidden talent found in tweets), Suggested (artists you might like), and #NowPlaying (music that’s been tweeted by artists and people you follow). You can join in on the recommendations by using the #nowplaying" hashtag to tell people what you’re listening to.

When you discover new music you want to share with others, you just tap the spinning disc in the lower left corner to open the player and access the Compose button.

The service is initially available in the US, UK and Ireland, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, with more countries being added over time. Although the app is only for iOS right now, Twitter says it will be bringing its service to Android. No word on any plans to introduce it to Windows Phone or BlackBerry, however.

The web application will be open for everyone later today and can be accessed at music.twitter.com.

According to Twitter's official announcement, "Twitter and music go great together. People share and discover new songs and albums every day. Many of the most-followed accounts on Twitter are musicians, and half of all users follow at least one musician. This is why artists turn to Twitter first to connect with their fans -- and why we wanted to find a way to surface songs people are tweeting about. We offered music artists an early look at the service. You can see some of their reactions below. We hope you like it, too".

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