As the popularity of Twitter continues to explode amongst users of every age and taste, the functionality of the service seems to be only limited to the user’s imagination, and one of the newest innovations for micro-blogging is also one of the most fun: tweeting music. Twitter users of every background are becoming self-stylized DJ’s thanks to the help of boutique URL shorteners that specialize in making links directly to entire tracks of songs both popular and obscure. The result has opened up a whole new side of Twitter that’s got the whole house a rockin’.
Tweeting music was actually pretty popular before the recent innovations, the URL shorteners for music just snagged an opportunity at just the right time. Prior to these services, many twitter users were using online radio sites like Pandora that would broadcast updates to a users Twitter stream of whatever tunes they were listening to at the time. Other users would promote music that they liked by posting links to where songs were streaming, with the majority of these posts linking to the MySpace page of relatively obscure bands. However, these methods of sharing music on Twitter aren’t without their faults. A service like Pandora will automatically post a new tweet everytime a new song comes on your radio channel, which can add up to an inane tweet stream pretty quick, and there are only so many people who are really interested in following a link to some random local band’s page on MySpace.
This is where the new services stepped in and made the Twitter sing. The two most effecient sites for sharing music online are blip.fm and twt.fm. Both of these sites allow you to search for the artist and song you want to share and post a shortened URL link where your followers can listen to the full song and comment on your post or RT the link on Twitter. Blip.fm is a member based service that requires you to create an account, while twt.fm lets you anonymously get your link an move along. However, blip.fm has a larger music library and twt.fm only offers links to short samples of the more popular songs. Both offer the opportunity for visitors to purchase the music or album, which is how the services make their money.
The convenience of these sites has really caught on with Twitter users, as evidenced by the growing popularity of #musicmonday. Each monday, Twitter users post links to their favorite songs with the hashtag #musicmonday at the end, and folks keep an ongoing search for new posts under the this term. It’s a great way to meet new users and to hear new music, and it’s a great example of how users and third party developers are continuing to redefine the medium of social micro-blogging.