Spotify not out to completely embarrass you via Facebook anymore

Where there is Facebook, there are privacy concerns. And as digital music streaming service Spotify becomes ever chummier with Facebook, it too is starting to raise privacy concerns among its customers – including those who want to keep some of their musical tastes to themselves.

To address such concerns, Spotify has introduced a feature called Private Listening, that like the Private Browsing option in Web Browsers let’s you switch into super-secret mode with a couple of mouse clicks. So if you want to mask your penchant for, I mean research into, Justin Bieber or Barbra Streisand, you can now do that rather than having your latest listenings automatically shared with your Facebook friends and beyond.

"Many of our users have told us that they like to share what they’re listening to, but also want an easy way to hide their occasional guilty pleasures," Spotify’s Diego Planas Rego explains in a blog post.

OPINION: 3 things I love and don’t love about Spotify

Spotify users should also check out their Spotify Preference page to opt in or out of sharing songs played and playlists with Facebook.

Spotify likes to push the social aspects of music, and at the recent Facebook F8 conference discussed tighter integration of its service with Facebook, including the automatic posting of songs listened to via Spotify on your Facebook Timeline. You also now need to have a Facebook account to sign up for a new Spotify account ("Think of it as like a virtual 'passport', designed to make the experience smoother and easier, with one less username and password to remember. You don't need to connect to Facebook and if you do decide to, you can always control what you share and don't share by changing your Spotify settings from the Preferences menu at any time," Spotify explains on its customer support site.)

While Spotify has taken some heat from customers for a perceived breach of privacy and trust, such concerns aren’t stopping the music service’s momentum. In fact, it has reportedly gained 1 million-plus Facebook-integrated subscribers since the F8 conference.

Take your pick: Follow Bob on Facebook, Google+ and/or Twitter. I’m keeping my Spotify account private for now, not that I have anything to hide about Madonna.

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