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Tango Adds News Feed Opening Messaging App To Music Marketing

Tango-iconMessaging is growing in importance with a variety of apps being used for the jobs more traditional social networks used to do. Though WhatsApp limits itself to messaging alone, Tango, another strong U.S. messaging competitor, is taking the platform route of most Asian messaging apps. That means that, in addition to direct communications and ads, Tango is creating more music marketing opportunities. Last week I spoke with Tango’s Senior Director of Product Management, Jamie Odell, about the introduction of their News Feed which is opening up all sorts of new options for communicating with fans.

Between a 5 day Typepad outage that took Hypebot offline and a number of breaking news items, news about Tango got pushed back. However I think this news is important and I feel like I dropped the ball on getting it to Hypebot readers.

I've previously written about Tango and Spotify working together to bring music to the app featuring short music clips which could be shared between friends or groups. Tango's News Feed, officially unveiled on Tuesday adds another opportunity to share not only music clips but videos and other content as well with more to come.

A Quick Intro to Tango

Jamie Odell, Senior Director of Product Management, filled me in on what's happening with Tango, Spotify and the News Feed with some extra insights for DIY and indie musicians.

If you're unfamiliar with Tango, you should know that it has a large user base in the U.S. but also has a large international presence with more than 200 million registered users in total. The Tango app is free and available for Android, iOS, Windows Phone and desktops.

Tango's features already include voice and video calls and messages, text messaging, photo sharing, group chat with up to 50 participants, shareable music clips via Spotify and games.

Last month Alibaba led a $280 million funding round for Tango reminding us that the major Asian messaging apps leading this innovative area are more platforms than simple messaging apps. As one can see from the features list and as Jamie Odell confirmed in our conversation, Tango is committed to following the platform route rather than limiting itself as is WhatsApp.

Tango Debuts Their News Feed

Tango's newly introduced News Feed opens up the communication possibilities in ways that can benefit musicians.

For example, Spotify song clips that were previously shared in direct messages to individuals and in group chats can now also be posted to the News Feed. Odell revealed that prior to the introduction of the News Feed Tango users had shared almost 200 million song clips with their friends. In addition, users had gone on to stream songs on Spotify to the tune of 26 million uniques.

Having already seen increased engagement after growing from a simple messaging app to a platform with lots of options, the News Feed is likely to increase use of the app. Odell pointed out that, not surprisingly, rich media encourages deeper engagement and that's just the kind of thing musicians should be looking for.

While the Spotify integration is one way music has a presence on Tango, the News Feed brings other opportunities as well. In particular, users can now shoot videos using the Tango app and then upload them to their News Feed. Obviously this could include live music footage, backstage antics and all the other things that video allows musicians to share with their fans.

In addition, iOS users are now able to share previously shot videos from their mobile devices.

There's lots more ahead as well including a sticker product called Animated Surprises as well as featured popular posts.

Keep in mind that those with bigger budgets can also buy native ads with their incredibly popular game platform as an option.

Current and Future Account Options

Since Tango currently features individual accounts, I asked Odell what they were planning for brands, including bands. He said such accounts were coming but, for now, if a band sets up an individual account they won't get kicked off like Google+ did in their early days.

However I'd suggest starting with an individual account to figure out what's happening on Tango and how you might fit in. You might find that waiting for the brand accounts will be a better fit for your band. However, if you're a solo act, I'd think you're good to go.

While Facebook's acquisiton of WhatsApp and related moves may have sucked a lot of air out of the media space for messaging news, Tango's progress currently seems a lot more relevant to musicians, especially those based in the States.


Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) posts music crowdfunding news @CrowdfundingM. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.