Spotify's decision to require new users to have a Facebook account is not going well with both existing users and potential ones. The move has been highly criticized and it didn't help that Spotify didn't make any announcement until after it blew over.Now it's defending the move by arguing that most people already have a Facebook account and that the deep integration with the social site is a good thing.
"As most of our users are already social and have already connected to Facebook, it seemed logical to integrate Spotify and Facebook logins," Spotify said in a statement.
"We already use Facebook as part of our backend to power our social features and by adopting Facebook’s login, we’ve created a simple and seamless social experience," it explained.
"From today, all new Spotify users will need to have a Facebook account to join Spotify. Think of it as like a virtual 'passport,' designed to make the experience smoother and easier, with one less username and password to remember," it added.
But that's hardly enough to silence the critics. While most people won't care that they have to sign up with their Facebook account, they already do for many other sites, some who want to get Spotify may not have one.
Or maybe they just don't want to share everything they listen to with their friends. But they don't have a choice now.
Interestingly enough, if you're into conspiracy theories, yesterday's post announced the new six-month trial and the removal of the Open tier from the Spotify blog. Ironically, the tweet linking to the post is still there.
The real issue here is not that Spotify is forcing potential new users to link their Facebook accounts or create a new one, but rather the automatic sharing that's enabled by default.
Users are notified that details about what they listen to will be shared with friends, but there's little info about it. Most people won't realize that this actually means that everything they listen to on Spotify will be sent to Facebook to spam their friends.
But Spotify is making a gamble here. Yes, it's going to turn some people away with the new requirement and lose a few potential users. But it's betting that it's going to gain a whole lot more new users from the viral effect it hopes to generate on Facebook.