One of Paris’ most ambitious startups, Whyd, a social network for music lovers and influencers, is planning to put out an updated profile interface, sources say. They will reportedly be integrating other social network profiles, more prominent visibility for playlists, and a very visually appealing cover photo à la Google+. The new profile page may roll out to users as early as next week, and will surely be a welcomed improvement to fans and create a more social experience in the network.
Coming from a long line of musicians, I’m a huge fan of watching Whyd continue to grow, having first been recommended the network by friends before discovering it was a Paris service. The new profile page is just another step in reaching their ongoing vision of creating a real music-centric social network, where music lovers can discover new music, and music influencers can share their discoveries.
For those of you just discovering the service – here’s the TL;DR version of the interview we did with Whyd founder Gilles Poupardin last year. The service is user-centric, which means you don’t follow bands, artists, labels or genres, you follow influencers. Throw away your Soundcloud’s, your Spotify’s, your Youtube’s and your MySpace’s – Whyd is the first social network to actually imitate the social reality of music – some of your friends are cool, and they make the rest of their follower friends discover their awesome music. Reflecting reality accurately on the web is how Facebook became the giant it is today, and I believe that, just as labels have always had on-the-ground organic buzz marketing through grassroots music fanatics, so Whyd will enable music labels to reach the masses via the 5% of people influencing 100% of listeners.
It’s not often to have startups in Europe ambitious enough to build something solving such a large problem – music discovery – and while Spotify and Deezer have approached this from one angle, I don’t think the real social nature of music has been tapped into yet. I’m not a 100% fan of how Whyd makes you add music (via their web bookmarklet, or by search), as I feel something better could be done here, especially since I don’t necessarily want to watch a video for each song, even if it originally comes from YouTube. Nonetheless, the service is on good grounds where many music services falter, and I’m sure it will continue to improve the music-listening experience – that is, of course, key to any successful music social network.