Recent spotify update: why fix what’s not broken?


Zelda Zamora-Villa photographed by Isabella Kneeshaw.

Zelda Zamora-Villa, Staff Writer

After many years of little to no change, Spotify recently updated their app’s layout and features. It shouldn’t have been too difficult to please users because they’re frequently asking Spotify for additions that would make usage easier and overall better. But of course, with big changes, many people are unhappy. 

So while some of these changes have been more than accepted, most are facing backlash from users. To make the homepage seem more seamless, they’ve removed daily mixes, recently played, trending now and popular artists. These changes would’ve probably gone unnoticed if they didn’t change the entire design. Once you click a song, the entire layout is different. A heart is replaced with a plus sign and the amount of buttons have been minimized. With this, you’re unable to see which songs are ‘hearted’ in each playlist. 

The backlash for the update goes beyond just aesthetics and extends to functionality. Some users have the update and some don’t, making it feel like you’re almost being targeted with the new ‘ugly’ features. Some feel lucky to not have been randomly given the update. They’ve also removed the auto shuffle and play button and separated them into two, so now each time you play a playlist, you need to hit shuffle, and this doesn’t stay continuous, as you need to do this each time you play, for each playlist. It seems like this would make things more convenient, but rather it’s an annoyance. Having a playlist play from a different order than a user curated can be discouraging. While some people enjoy the shuffle feature, each button should be individual so as to not create any confusion. 

Both are  premium features, which is another unfair way to get users to upgrade when controllable music listening should be a given. What’s worse is that user complaints are what led to the two buttons for premium users, meaning they took a mistake on their end and fixed it, but only for people who pay.  

This update is so disliked that people have tried reverting their app to an older version or stopped using Spotify altogether. Apps like Spotify should be aiming at achieving functionality and providing updates for all rather than creating frustration for both paying and non-paying users. It seems like they don’t care to appease but instead want only to profit.