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Changes to Friend Activity

Changes to Friend Activity

With Friend Activity you can see what your friends are listening to. Personally, I love Friend Activity because I can really get to know my friends’ tastes in music and dive right into what they’re listening to.


As of recently, if you want to continue sharing what you're listening to, you will need to enable it for your followers in Settings. If you’ve never turned this setting on before, you’ll need to turn it on to share your activity with your followers. This way, you’re always in control of what you’re sharing.




Also, you may find that you don't see much activity from those you follow - that's because they might not have turned this setting on yet. Let them know you want to dig in on the cool stuff they're listening to! 


Check out this article for more information about Friend Activity. 


You can also block followers if you don’t want them to view your listening activity. Check out the steps under: ‘Block someone’ here for more information.

HuboSpotify Star
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My Question or Issue

Friend activity always shows the listening activity of almost every person I follow, but since yesterday it's showing about a third of them. This change was sudden, and I know it should be displaying more activity, because many people I follow show theirs, but I can't see it.

I have tried reinstalling the app, as well as unfollowing and following my friends again, but nothing seems to solve it.


Plan Student Premium

Country Argentina

Device MacBook Pro 13' 2017 (Two Thunderbolt 3 ports)

Operating System macOS Big Sur

Same! My friend activity the last few days has basically dissapeared.

This is a ridiculous change. Private sessions have been a thing for years if you want to quickly listen to some silly music from anime or something without sharing to friends or scrobbling to lastFM. This effectively kills the social aspect of Spotify since the great majority of people are not power users that keep up with each and every setting or social change. Asking each and every friend to turn this is not a solution especially if you don't know them in real life or people you have added you aren't super close friends with. 

I recently re-subscribed to premium after not using Spotify for over a year, mostly for the social aspect and music discovery I don't get listening to MP3s. If the social aspect is being hidden like this, I see no reason not to move to apple music or youtube music, or go back to purely offline MP3 files. 

People is literally complaining on all social media platforms, in your email and pretty much everywhere. And the only thing you did is displaying a warning on desktop app. How are we supposed to contact everyone on our list? Maybe it's a public figure or a celebrity with dozens or hundreds of messages per day in their dms. What if they primarily use mobile? They'll never see said warning. What if their friend activity tab is not on? They'll never see said warning. We asked you to improve this feature, not ruining it altogether. What's the difference now between Spotify and every other streaming service? What do you offer more than the others?

Hey @YoshiYogurt — thanks for your post here.

I completely understand you're frustrated that things work differently than you're used to. Just know that this feature isn't being removed, these changes are made so you can explicitly opt-in to share your listening activity. That way, you're always in control of what you're sharing.

You're in the right place here on the Spotify Community to share your feedback about this — thanks again for posting. Feel free to give me a shout if you have any questions.

All the best,
HuboSpotify Star
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You are repeating the same corporate mumbo jumbo from the first post. Read again. This EFFECTIVELY removes it because 90% of users will not opt-in. What is so scary about sharing your music that it needs to be off by default? We already were "always in control" via two methods, opting out in the settings or private sessions. Myself and many others will move to other listening methods if this isn't rolled back in the coming months since spotify no longer offers the huge social edge over other services that are catching up feature wise. The damage is already done though since everyone' setting is already forcibly flipped to off unless it's rolled back and turned back to on.

The fact this is the only documentation of the feature change is so ridiculous. There are probably millions of users totally unaware of this feature change and instead of addressing it Spotify closes all the suggestions from users to actually come up with a solution. If a user has ever looked at their settings and seen the sharing enabled and been happy with it but never touched the toggle then their settings would've been changed forcibly and without their permission.

Users were never unable to control their sharing. If this was the direction Spotify wanted to go it should've been a setting change for all new users. Not for existing users. It seems incredibly short sighted and not thought through at all

Hey @YoshiYogurt, sorry you feel that way.

My opinion is that it's a very good step forward privacy-wise.

As you mentioned in your previous post: not many people know about this feature (and they might have been unaware they were publicly sharing what they are listening to). With these changes, everyone makes the conscious choice: "I want to share my listening activity".

I feel like it's good that sharing is off by default so no-one shares their music unknowingly.
Listening activity can be very personal, and even though you are not scared by sharing it, other people might feel differently about that. In the end, it's personal data which by default should not be shared (unless someone chooses to).

Hope you see my point here.

All the best,
HuboSpotify Star
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You can't simultaneously agree that the feature was incredibly unknown about and then say that everyone will now be making a conscious choice. If people have no clue about the existance of the toggle in the settings, then it doesn't matter what their preference is, they'll never know they can change it or that it's even something they have control over.

I have everything enabled but it still doesn't work. I already reinstaled spotify.

Captura de ecrã 2021-12-08 204007.png





Operating System

Windows 11




Interesting point. I don’t think everyone will make this choice, some people aren’t interested in this feature.


Don’t you think it makes sense that if someone doesn’t take action on this; their listening activity isn’t shared? Sharing something should always be a choice, not a default.


Again, this is my personal opinion/thoughts about this.

HuboSpotify Star
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The issues being raised aren't about people being given a choice. It's about their settings being changed without their knowledge or permission. How do you know millions of users haven't seen that toggle in the past in the on position, been happy with it and left it? Because for those users Spotify has just changed their settings to turn off sharing because they never went and toggled it off and back on.
I agree that the default should normally be in the off position, but that should've been done for all NEW users. If Spotify actually cared about what the user wanted they would more clearly sign post this toggle and send out an alert to let people know about it. Users have always had the choice to turn off this setting, to say they didn't know just reinforces the issue around this toggle. All this update has done is try to cover up a poorly chosen default made YEARS ago.

I guess we are at an impasse here. I don't agree that what you are listening to is personal data akin to your home address, work place, age, face, etc. It's just music, and unless you are listening to your own published music, it's songs that are not even your own "data". Is someone's privacy being violated if I overhear what they are listening to in their car outside or if they are playing music off a speaker? Truly ridiculous.

Very disappointed that Spotify is taking this stance going into 2022 and I regret re-subscribing. This will kill the aspect of having friends/following.

this will surely bring ya a huge headache due to the amount of rejection regarding this change, like i said to one of your agents, it's no pornhub, it's just music, good luck dealing with the stress of rejection 😉

I'm having the exact same issue on my MacBook Pro on 11.6. I've done two clean installs, and I still get the same issue. Screen Shot 2021-12-08 at 9.43.43 PM.png

Mine is enabled, but I'm still getting greyed out lines and a request to turn my sharing on in Settings. I've logged out, done a clean uninstall, reinstalled (twice), logged back in and still have the same issue. How do I fix this? Screen Shot 2021-12-08 at 9.43.43 PM.png

Could you at least inform ALL Spotify users in the app that this change has been made? And by all I don't mean only those who use the desktop version but also those who use the mobile version. Just tell everyone clearly "Hey, due to privacy concerns you activity sharing has been turned to "off", if you enjoy this feature and want your friends to be able to see what you're listening to go to the settings and turn it back on."

It would be really great if you could do that!

They don’t know which door they’ve knocked on

We want to confirm that this change is permanent and that we're not considering reverting the new default setting.


We do understand and agree with your feedback that people should be informed of what they need to do to share their listening activity, provided they want to.


This is why we sent emails to users that have a high amount of followers, making them aware of this new change. We do not however think it will be valuable to send millions of emails to each single Spotify user. On the contrary, many people who do not want to share their activity might consider this as spam. On top of that, there are regulations in multiple regions that do not allow us to contact people unless a person has explicitly permitted us of doing so (for example in their account settings) or under specific special circumstances. As such, we're using our public platforms to spread the word.


Our support site provides information on the topic and our efforts here on the Community are part of this as well. We are also looking into other methods and channels that could help spread awareness. We would appreciate everyone's support on the matter as well by letting their friends know.


Ultimately, if you follow someone you don't personally know, or it's a brand account or similar, it will be their choice and their choice alone if they want to share their listening activity with someone they also don't know and if they want to enable this for their followers.


We hope you understand.

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