Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Twitter Music Is Here Today, and You Can’t Use It

ryan seacrestWant to play with Twitter’s new music app? You can get it today — if you’re really famous.

If not, you’re going to have to wait a week.

Here’s the deal: As we wrote yesterday, Twitter is launching its new music discovery app for iOS devices, timed to the start of the Coachella music festival this weekend.

But for now, only a handful of “influencers” are going to get their hands on it.

That’s why Ryan Seacrest was tweeting about the app yesterday.* And that’s why sources say you should expect to see dozens of other celebrities chatting it up over the next few days.

And you, non-famous person with an iPhone? Hang tight for a week.

So that helps explain why we heard contradicting reports about the app’s launch date (Today! This weekend!) yesterday. (They were both right! Sort of.)

And as long as the celebrities don’t spend their time tweeting about how much they dislike the app, it will be a smart move by the Twitter folks: They get to stoke demand and do some last-minute bug-testing** at the same time.

* This is not the first time a big Web company has used Ryan Seacrest in a faux-stealth app marketing push. Apparently it worked well for Zynga, too.

** This might have been helpful for the Vine launch earlier this year.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik