How to See What People Are Listening to on Spotify

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Have you ever wondered what your friends are rocking out to on Spotify? Or wanted to discover new artists and songs based on the listening activity of Spotify users you follow?

As an avid Spotify listener myself, I totally get the appeal of tapping into the listening habits of others!

Spotify‘s social features make it easy to connect with friends and peek at the tunes they‘re playing in real time. But there are a few steps required to uncovered the listening activity of your people.

In this in-depth guide, I‘ll walk you through exactly how to see what people are listening to on Spotify. I‘ll cover:

  • Turning on listening activity sharing for your profile
  • Viewing friends‘ activity in the Spotify app
  • Finding friends and accessing their playlists
  • Privacy settings to limit sharing
  • The data around Spotify‘s social features
  • And much more to help satisfy your music curiosity!

Let‘s dive in and expose those Spotify listening habits!

How Do I Share My Spotify Listening Activity with Friends?

The first step to seeing your friends‘ listening activity is to make sure you have sharing enabled on your own Spotify account.

By default, Spotify sets profiles to private mode. So your Spotify friends can‘t see what you‘re rocking out to unless you specifically choose to share your listening activity.

But turning on sharing is easy to do in just a few clicks:

Sharing Your Activity on Desktop

If you use Spotify‘s desktop app for Windows or Mac, here‘s how to share your listening activity:

  1. Click on your profile name in the top right corner of the Spotify desktop app.

  2. Select Settings from the dropdown menu.

  3. In the sidebar menu, navigate down to Social.

  4. Under the Listening Activity section, toggle the switch on to enable sharing your activity.

That‘s all there is to it! Now when your friends visit your Spotify profile, they‘ll be able to see your recently played tracks and playlists.

Enabling Sharing on Mobile

Alternatively, you can turn on listening activity sharing via the Spotify mobile app for iOS or Android:

  1. Tap the Settings icon (shaped like a gear) in the upper right of the app.

  2. Tap your profile icon at the top to open your account settings.

  3. Scroll down and toggle the Listening Activity switch on.

Simple as that! With activity sharing enabled on mobile, your profile will show off your music tastes when friends check you out in the app.

Once you turn on sharing, Spotify will automatically update your profile‘s listening activity whenever you listen on any device. Friends will be able to see your recently played artists, songs, albums and public playlists.

But what if you want to broadcast your amazing musical taste on Facebook too? Spotify makes that easy too…

Sharing Listening Activity on Facebook

In addition to sharing within Spotify, you can connect your Spotify and Facebook accounts to auto-share listening activity on Facebook.

Your Spotify plays will appear directly in your friends‘ Facebook feeds so everyone truly knows what you‘re jamming to.

To enable this:

  1. Go back to the Social section of your Spotify account settings.

  2. Under Facebook, toggle the Share my listening activity to Facebook switch to the on position.

  3. Tap Connect with Facebook and log into your Facebook account.

You‘ll need to agree to share some account info between the two platforms. But once connected, your rockstar listening activity will automatically post to Facebook!

Viewing Your Friends‘ Activity on Spotify

Alright, now that sharing is enabled on your end, it‘s time to view what Spotify activity your friends are sharing!

You can view friends‘ listening activity in a few different places across the Spotify apps:

Friend Activity Feed

The easiest way to peek at friends‘ activity is right in Spotify‘s Friend Activity feed.

In the Spotify mobile app, simply scroll down on the Home screen and you‘ll see recent listening activity from friends who have sharing enabled.

You can quickly like or comment on their activity directly in the feed too. It‘s a great way to interact and discover new jams from what friends are playing!

Spotify friend activity feed

Checking out friend listening activity in Spotify‘s Friend Activity feed. Source: Springer Nature

Individual Friend Profiles

Want to do a deep dive into a specific friend‘s recent plays rather than the broad feed?

You can view any friend‘s profile by tapping their profile picture from a playlist or the Friends section of Spotify. Their listening activity will be front and center when you open their profile page.

From their profile, you can like songs they‘ve listened to recently or browse their public playlists to discover similar music tastes.

Desktop App

Spotify‘s desktop apps for PC and Mac also showcase friend activity.

Right click your friend‘s name in the desktop app sidebar or a shared playlist to select View Profile. Their profile will pop up with listening activity visible.

Facebook Feed

Thanks to Spotify‘s Facebook integration, you may also spot friends‘ listening activity directly in your Facebook feed.

When friends connect Spotify sharing to Facebook, their plays will appear natively in the Facebook app just like any other post.

So YouTube isn‘t the only place you can get caught up on what friends are listening to lately!

Finding Your Friends on Spotify

Now, in order to see your squad‘s listening activity, you first have to connect as friends on Spotify.

Luckily, Spotify makes it easy to find your real-world friends on the platform and see their music tastes.

Here are some tips for finding friends on Spotify:

  • Connect to Facebook – If you enable Facebook sharing in your Spotify settings, any Facebook friends who also use Spotify will be automatically added to your Spotify friend list. Super easy!

  • Search by name – Know a friend‘s exact Spotify username? Type their name into the search bar at the top of the Spotify app to find their profile.

  • Check out followers – Visit playlists or artist profiles you love. Their followers are likely people with similar music taste who you can add as friends.

  • Share your profile – Text or email friends your Spotify username or profile link so they can find and follow you.

I recommend starting with the Facebook connection option. Spotting familiar faces from your Facebook friends list is the simplest way to kickstart building your Spotify crew.

Pro tip: You can always edit your Spotify friend list later to remove any randos you don‘t actually want following your listening activity.

Accessing Your Friends‘ Spotify Playlists

Once connected as friends, you get special access to your buddies‘ Spotify playlists:

See Their Public Playlists

If your friend has set a playlist to "Public" in their sharing options, you can view the full playlist details by visiting their profile.

Get ready to discover a goldmine of new tunes handpicked by your music-loving friends! 🎧

Follow Their Playlists

When you find an awesome public playlist created by a friend, you can follow it to keep it saved and easily accessible in Your Library.

I love finding new workout playlists and travel playlists from friends to liven up my own Spotify sessions.

Collaborate on Playlists

Your Spotify friend can also choose to directly collaborate with you on a playlist, allowing both of you to add and edit tracks.

What better way to build an amazing shared playlist of your collective musical tastes!

So exploring your friends‘ public Spotify playlists is a really useful perk of connecting on the platform. You both get to benefit from each other‘s curated collections.

Privacy Settings for Listening Activity Sharing

Spotify does give you plenty of control over how and when your listening activity is shared.

It‘s always a good idea to tweak your sharing settings based on your personal comfort level. Here are some key options to limit activity visibility:

Private Session

You can always toggle on Private Session in your Spotify settings to temporarily hide your activity from friends. Your private session will remain off until you manually turn it off again.

Block Users

Don‘t want a specific Spotify user viewing your activity at all? You can selectively block other users in your Spotify account‘s privacy settings.

Limited Facebook Sharing

When you connect Spotify to Facebook sharing, consider limiting it to just your current song name rather than your whole listening activity feed.

Restrict Playlists

Keep your most personal or guilty pleasure playlists private and only share select playlists publicly. You control each playlist‘s visibility.

Review Friends

It‘s a good habit every so often to review who you‘ve allowed as Spotify friends and remove any random connections you don‘t want accessing your full activity feed.

The Spotify Social Experience – By the Numbers

Curious just how popular Spotify‘s social and music sharing features really are? Their influence is pretty impressive! Here are some fun stats:

  • 50% of Spotify users have engaged with social sharing features

  • Over 1 billion Spotify playlists have been created

  • More than 4 billion playlist follows and likes happen each month

  • The average user follows 6 other Spotify accounts

  • There are over 250 million Spotify social media followers across platforms

So it‘s clear that connecting with friends and expressing your musical self is a major part of the Spotify experience!

Source: Spotify Social Media Kit

Leveraging Spotify‘s social aspects can really level up your enjoyment of the app. Following friends and influencers makes discovering music a constantly fresh experience.

FAQs About Spotify Listening Activity

Still have some questions about peeking at Spotify activity? Here are answers to some commonly asked questions:

Can someone see what I listen to if my listening activity is private?

Nope! If you disable sharing in your Spotify settings, your listening activity will remain 100% private and invisible to others.

What specific activity do friends have access to?

With sharing enabled, friends can see your recently played artists, songs, albums, podcasts, and any public playlists you‘ve created.

Can I see who is looking at my Spotify profile and activity?

Unfortunately Spotify doesn‘t have a way to see who is specifically viewing your profile or activity feed. It‘s visible to all friends you‘ve approved.

Can my Spotify friends see my private playlists?

Private playlists remain fully private and are not visible to your friends. Only public playlists you choose to share are visible.

Start Discovering New Tunes Through Friends

There you have it – everything you could want to know about tapping into Spotify listening activity for awesome music discoveries!

Following friends and branching out from their playlists is one of my personal favorite ways to find new favorite songs and artists on Spotify.

So what are you waiting for? Turn on sharing, connect with friends and start exploring the musical world together on Spotify. Enjoy this inside look at listening habits and happy music discovering!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.