By Gerry Shih
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Twitter Inc launched a stand-alone music-streaming app on Wednesday, opening another front in the micromessaging service's ambitious expansion into multimedia content.
The iPhone app, called #music, will recommend and stream songs based on who users follow on Twitter and artists' recommendations. The songs will be streamed via Rdio and Spotify, the subscription-based music services, and iTunes, Apple Inc's music store.
Twitter said in its blog-post announcement that #music will be available in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand beginning Thursday.
A release date for the Android app has not yet been announced.
In a blog post, Twitter's engineers said the new service "uses Twitter activity, including Tweets and engagement, to detect and surface the most popular tracks and emerging artists."
"It also brings artists' music-related Twitter activity front and center: go to their profiles to see which music artists they follow and listen to songs by those artists."
The new app, launched four months after Twitter unveiled Vine, a stand-alone video-sharing app, is meant to reinforce Twitter's position as a fully functional multimedia hub, particularly in the eyes of teens and young adults.
In its early years, Facebook Inc gained popularity by allowing its service to be integrated with YouTube and music-streaming apps like Spotify. And Apple, Google Inc and Amazon Inc have all recently held talks with music industry executives about entering the music streaming business.
See also: Big Tech tests the waters of the music stream.
(Reporting By Gerry Shih; Editing by Alden Bentley)