Twitter is on the verge of launching its own standalone app dedicated to music, proving that its purpose as a social media site extends far beyond tweeting about what you had for breakfast.

As reported by CNET, Twitter’s music based move comes after acquiring the Australian-made music discovery app We Are Hunted last year and is using and modelling the site’s innovative technology to craft its own music-focussed application.

We Are Hunted was created by a group of Australian software developers in 2009 and as of last June was attracting more than 1 million unique users a month.

The site generates a music chart by monitoring popular songs across blogs, social media, message boards and BitTorrent, from which users could then stream songs, compile playlists, and share content to their own social media pages, though it’s currently unknown how much Twitter acquired the site for.

Simply named Twitter Music, the new music discovery app is expected to be launched as soon as the end of this month, appearing first on iOS devices before plans to roll out onto Android services.Simply named Twitter Music, the new music discovery app is expected to be launched as soon as the end of this month, appearing first on iOS devices…

According to details revealed by CNET, the app will comprise of six tabs: one called ‘#NowPlaying’ which will contain all the songs people you follow are tweeting about, a tab called ‘Suggestions’ giving personalised recommendations to users based on their activity, a tab for artists you follow, and another for artists your friends follow.

The final two tabs focus on music discovery, and are perhaps the most intriguing. A tab dubbed ‘Popular’ will showcase songs trending at any given moment, whilst the ‘Emerging’ tab will give a handy spotlight to rising, up-and-coming acts.

The app will reportedly stream songs in-app using Soundcloud, which is already a current feature in the Twitter iOS app.

While no direct confirmation has been made by either Twitter or We Are Hunted of the merge, the speculation has been fuelled by We Are Hunted’s site being down for the last couple of days, suggesting rumblings behind the scenes, while cryptic tweets from the website’s co-founder Stephen Phillips hint that some major activity is indeed well underway.

It seems that tweeters are already hyped for Twitter Music, with the app’s eponymous verified account already accumulating 2.3 million followers. (Judging by their tweets, they’re big David Bowie fans.)

The news of Twitter diving into the music pool coincides with Facebook announcing another undoubtedly-controversial overhaul of its central News Feed which is set to include a new streamlined music experience allowing users to choose a separate news feed dedicated to what music their friends are listening to.

It also comes after Google announced their own music streaming service, similarly named Google Music; an announcement drew criticism from music bodies, labels and musicians alike after the revamp of their search engine formula and algorithms last year failed to live up to its promise of discouraging users from visiting illegal music websites.

Twitter Music could certainly pose worries to their large competitors in Facebook and Google, as well as fellow music-based sites including Spotify, Deezer, Pandora, and the newly relaunched Myspace.

The sheer number of Twitter’s pre-existing user base means that its own music service is almost guaranteed to become a market leader, and could potentially drive away traffic from its competitors as Twitter users will no longer have a reason to venture outside the Twittersphere to get their music fix.

It’s clear that music is rapidly becoming a primary focus of these social media giants, and as the war rages, we music fans can only expect to receive continuously greater streamlined music services appearing on our screens. In the meantime, join us in standing on the sidelines screaming, ‘Fight! Fight! Fight!’

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