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Spotify Adds an Attention-Grabbing ‘What’s New’ Feed

What’s New is a new section in the Spotify app that collects together new music and content from musicians and podcasts you follow on the platform. The feed, which is rolling out globally over the coming weeks on iOS and Android, will be accessible via a new bell icon on the top right of the app’s home screen.

A blue dot will show when there’s new content in the feed, and artists and podcasts can be added by tapping the “Follow” button on their respective pages. Although the new feature works with music releases, the feed is likely to be most helpful for keeping up to date with podcasts.

Spotify’s announcement says, “What’s New makes it easier than ever to catch all the latest songs and episodes from the creators you follow. Plus, it’s even updated in real-time, so you know you’ll get to listen to new content just as it’s released.”

According to the company, the What’s New feed will serve as another way for Spotify users to keep up with all the new music and podcasts that are released from the shows and artists that they follow on the service. In other words, it’s a personalized feed based on what you listen to, not a universal feed or one you more explicitly customize by making specific selections.

Despite Spotify’s big push into podcasts, its history as a music-focused service has meant that its apps aren’t particularly well suited for listening to episodic content. Dedicated podcasting apps, meanwhile, are designed around chronological feeds, making it easy to see when new episodes are available. Hopefully, What’s New will bring some of these benefits to Spotify.

The feed will be under the new “bell” icon at the top of the home tab alongside the recently played and settings icons on the top right. The feed will be also updated in real-time, Spotify says, and will display a blue dot when some new songs and episodes arrived since you last opened the app. Before, you could find information about new releases in various places in the app, including your home tab and hubs on the app’s search page.

While the feature may be useful because it gives you a single place to look in the Spotify app for everything new, the use of a “notifications” feature that leverages dots is also a psychological trick that can make apps more addictive. Dots express a sense of urgency making you feel as if you need to click to see what’s new or even just clear the dot.

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