Last.FM should drop the “friends” thing

And adopt Twitter’s follow model.

Last.fm is too much like Facebook. Keeping tabs on somebody’s taste in music requires both users to accept friend requests. If you don’t know somebody personally, but admire their taste in music, there’s a likely chance that your friend request will be rejected.

That’s too bad. Just because you don’t know somebody you’ll miss out on their recommendations. But do you really want to be friends? All you know is that this person has good tastes in music. It needs to be reciprocal, but it shouldn’t be.

Apple gets this right with Ping, allowing people to follow each other without the other needing to reciprocate. Rdio does the same thing. But Last.fm doesn’t, which is a bummer because, as far as social networks for music go, it’s the best – or it could be. It knows everything, at least from where I scrobble from, and can give me better recommendations for new music than anything else.

If you’re interested in the idea of music social networks, and underwhelmed by Ping, you should give Last.fm a shot. Maybe I’ll even accept your friend request.