From today, to sign up to Spotify, you’ll need to have a Facebook account. This is one of the most idiotic decisions ever made by a company. And that’s not just my opinion, that’s an actual fact.
When Spotify launched, the press lauded it as a game changer. I know, because I was one of the members of the press who so lauded it. At the time, Spotify offered something incredible. A free music service, which was both legal, and a pleasure to use.
Now though, the Swedish streaming outfit seems to have, in TV parlance, jumped the fucking shark.
And Facebook, well, I’m barely even surprised by the shit those idiots pull these days. It’s just one attempt to defile your privacy after the next with them. Most impressive, though, is there seeming brilliance at selling it as a positive thing. They’re the new Apple with comments like “we want this process to be seamless” which in reality translate to “we don’t want you to know about the shady crap we’re getting up to”.
Facebook’s new Timeline is awe-inspiring in its audacity. Never before has a tech company so comprehensively harvested every detail about who you are now, but also attempted to get you to volunteer data about every year you’ve been swanning about the planet. For the love of humanity, the timeline EVEN asks you to upload a baby photo.
But, whatever your feelings about Facebook, being forced to use it as a mechanism to sign up for an unrelated service like Spotify really takes the biscuit. Why on earth does one of those things need the other of those things. I’d almost buy in to it if Spotify shrugged and said “we can’t be arsed running the user database anymore”. But this isn’t for easy account management, it’s to allow Spotify access to your Facebook data and, more crucially, Facebook access to every track you play.
What that means, is that Facebook can happily use the data about your music tastes to flog you tickets to bands you like, or vaguely like, or listened to at the insistence of a friend. It can, of course, pair that with other data its picked from the rotting carcass that used to be your privacy and create some sort of horrific profile of you detailing every sordid mistake and cheesey music playlist.
Of course, I’m shitting myself, because I only listen to Katy Perry and Girls Aloud on Spotify, which is going to paint a very poor picture of me, when the Government finally turns over control of the country to Facebook.
Well done Spotify, you’ve gone from lovable upstart to despicable bastards in one day. Even Facebook didn’t manage it that quickly.