With Spotify Tastebuds you can see what your friends are listening to
You can now check out what your friends have been listening to and add it to your list, as Spotify says – “What’s Tastebuds? Now you can discover music through friends whose taste you trust.”
So far, Spotify has had no features for you to directly interact with friends within your mobile app. They dropped their own inbox, that let you trade songs with friends, in 2017 and kept the Friend Activity ticker only in the desktop app. Their social features have been pretty limited, revolving only around sharing bits and pieces of data on existing social networks and Spotify's music discovery has mostly revolved around its own playlists and algorithms.
This gave Spotify an advantage when it came to negotiating with artists and labels, a practice which can be considered questionable. As Slashgear reports, "This gave Spotify the power to play king-maker, massively influencing which artists got featured and rose to stardom. This in turn gave it leverage in its combative negotiations with record labels, which worried their artists might get left off playlists if they don't play nice with Spotify in terms of sustainable royalty rates and access to exclusives."
And it helped the music-streaming service stay on top of its game with Spotify improving its licensing deals and becoming a critical promotional partner for labels and that meant paving the way to its IPO. Spotify's shares now sit at $152, up from its direct listing price of $132.
In a better space now, it seems at least, Spotify seems to be ok with letting users get inspired by what their friends are playing giving them more control over what they discover.
Tastebuds is designed to let you explore your friends' music taste profiles and it sits as a navigation option next to your Library and Home/Browse sections. There is a also a non-functioning landing page for the feature on the web.
Users need to tap the pen icon to "search the people you follow", and from there you can view information about what users have been playing most and listen along or add songs to the library.
Other than that landing page on the web, Spotify has made no official confirmation of Tastebuds or when it plans to launch the feature.