Apple's Hidden Social Network Needs a Friend

There's a social network woven into Apple Music, but it's hard to find anyone who wants to use it.

Bridget Carey Principal Video Producer
Bridget Carey is an award-winning reporter who helps you level-up your life -- while having a good time geeking out. Her exclusive CNET videos get you behind the scenes as she covers new trends, experiences and quirky gadgets. Her weekly video show, "One More Thing," explores what's new in the world of Apple and what's to come. She started as a reporter at The Miami Herald with syndicated newspaper columns for product reviews and social media advice. Now she's a mom who also stays on top of toy industry trends and robots. (Kids love robots.)
Expertise Consumer technology, Apple, Google, Samsung, Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, social media, mobile, robots, future tech, immersive technology, toys, culture Credentials
  • Bridget has spent over 18 years as a consumer tech reporter, hosting daily tech news shows and writing syndicated newspaper columns. She's often a guest on national radio and television stations, including ABC, CBS, CNBC and NBC.
Bridget Carey
Bridget Carey looking puzzled with question marks and the Apple Music logo
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Apple has a social network with usernames and friends to follow, but it's so hidden inside Apple Music that even Apple Music subscribers I've spoken with had no idea it existed.

I've been a paying customer of Apple Music for years, I've made a number of playlists and I use the app every single day. And yet, I never knew there was a social network aspect to the service -- that is, until this week when I set up a new iPhone, opened the Music app, and I was prompted to set up a username and find friends.

Watch this: Apple Music's Anti-Social Social Network

In this week's episode of One More Thing (embedded above), I go through the history of Apple's failed attempts to make social networking successful inside its music apps over the years, and what the service looks like today.

The main reason to add friends in the network is to be able to get music recommendations from other people's shared playlists. It can help expand the music you discover.

Right now, it's complicated to find and add friends -- and perhaps Apple isn't motivated to make it an easier experience when it doesn't need to be a social networking company. But with TikTok Music now expanding as a streaming music service, perhaps the competition may motivate Apple to improve this feature.

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