Up until now, Apple Music has been sorely lacking in the social department. You might have seen the Discover section for keeping up with your favorite artists, but that’s really the extent of features up to iOS 10. iOS 11 is changing that this fall though. As already seen in the beta, Apple Music now lets you create your own profile. This allows you to add friends on Apple Music, put your songs and playlists on display, and share recommendations with people you know.
Spotify has had user profiles for years now and even takes socialization a step farther by providing a list of what your friends are listening to at this very second. Apple Music isn’t quite at that caliber just yet, but the new social features are welcome. Discovering new music from friends is one of my favorite hobbies, and I’m sure I’m not alone.
That said, here is how to get started with these social features by setting up your Apple music profile and sharing your favorite music.
Set Up Your Apple Music Profile
As soon as you install iOS 11 and launch the Music app, Apple Music tells you about some of the new features. One is of course the new user profiles. You’ll have to select your username accompanied by an @ symbol like Twitter.
Upload a photo too, plus choose your privacy settings. You can either allow everyone to follow you and see your activity or only people you approve of. Apple also warns that your photo, name, and username are visible in Apple Music as well as in search results on the web.
Note: The latter is pretty interesting. Apple doesn’t yet have dedicated web pages for user profiles, but maybe that’s coming soon.
Once that’s set up, you’ll see your profile. It shows your playlists plus a “Listening To” section for songs and albums you recently streamed.
Public playlists are viewable and streamable by anyone, which should dramatically expand the number of eclectic mixes available.
Scroll down and tap Find More Friends to see all of the contacts in your phone currently subscribed to Apple Music. You can also connect with Facebook to see additional Facebook friends to add. Bear in mind they need to be using iOS 11 to take advantage of the social features and user profiles.
Select What Music to Share
There is currently no way to hide the songs you’re listening to, but you can hide specific playlists from appearing on your user profile or in search. To do this, go to the Library tab of Apple Music and tap playlists. Choose a playlist that you want to hide.
Then tap Edit at the top right. Now switch off the option that says Show on my profile and in search.
Leaving it on means it’ll appear to friends and even strangers (depending on your privacy setting above) who search for something similar to the title or content of your playlist. Like Spotify, public playlists are viewable and streamable by anyone, which should dramatically expand the number of eclectic mixes available on Apple Music.
When someone visits your profile if it’s public or if they’re following you, they’ll see the playlists you choose to display. Over on the For You tab, they also see a compilation of every recently played playlist or album by every they follow. It’s not updated in real time like Spotify, but it’s good enough.
So that’s how you join the social bandwagon for Apple Music. It looks more promising than some of Apple’s previous social endeavors — remember iTunes Ping? Yikes. Anyway, round up some friends and swap some good tunes.