The Story is a PWA that lets Spotify users compare their music taste with their friends.

It has now crunched over 2 million matches for users across 90 countries.
I’ve always found a person’s music taste to be a great indicator of the kind of person they are, so when I kept running into the same question when meeting new people of: “So what kind of music do you listen to?”, I knew there must be an easier (and more fun) way to see which aspects of your music taste you had in common.

Over the January summer break of 2020 I decided to do just that. Many people consider their music taste to be a part of their identity, and I wanted to focus in on the social aspect of connecting with others over a shared interest in similar genres, artists and songs. 

The requirements for the app were simple:

  • An interface for users to create an account and import their music data
  • A way for users to compare their music tastes with others and see results
  • Perhaps a couple of insights, stats and playlist creation functionality sprinkled on top

I knew from the beginning that this concept should not be focused on functionality.  It’s very simple to execute this app and compare some arrays of data and output a result. From the beginning, musictaste’s focus was very much about the experience of connecting with another person. Thankfully, there was an app that I could draw inspiration from which is exceptional at doing just that — Tinder.

It’s a match! 💞

Having taken inspiration from the matching screen of Tinder, I wanted to recreate the feeling of “matching” with a friend on a musical level. When a referrer sends their unique link to a friend, the layout places their display picture front and center and makes it personal:

May wants to know how compatible your music tastes are…”

This followed by the simple call to action button to sign up in one click with Spotify helped musictaste spread with velocity through social groups.


Creating them dopamine hits 💊

Creating colourful personalisations 🎨

The bells and whistles 🔔

It was important to me to also focus on the little things as well. Users can generate unique playlists with friends they match with full of music they are likely to enjoy listening to together, and a good amount of time was spent designing the playlist image generator to select nice artist photos and gradients to appear on people’s Spotify profiles. The pay off — being able to search on Spotify and seeing hundreds of publicly listed playlists using your artwork generator.

There’s many more little quality of life features that have taken considerable thought: local caching of match data, a full-featured playlist generator using personalized insights and a cloud-based push notification service powered by Firebase Messaging built in to the app. All provided for free, with no advertising or data selling.


Reception and the future 💌

I didn’t expect musictaste to get the reception that it did. It was featured on multiple online articles, shared hundreds of times on Twitter, and has now made it to almost all of the markets which Spotify operates in. At the time of writing, 1 in 400 Spotify users in the world have tried musictaste at least once. That’s crazy!

To help with the hosting fees, I opened up a Ko-fi page and the support has been incredible. I’ve been thinking a lot about where to take musictaste in the future. Obviously donations alone are not sustainable, and recently I found out that it’s possible to monestise a non-streaming app that uses the Spotify API. It seems like the next logical step.

A full SSR rewrite of musictaste has to happen first. I have heaps of new social features planned, and with time, I hope I can create a platform that fosters a community likened to that of Letterboxd. It’s a long way off, but we’ve got to start somewhere.