Taylor Swift is known to keep her fans on their toes with her career moves: whether it’s dropping unexpected albums, changing personal brand aesthetics, or re-recording old albums as a way to gain control of her music. She is very cryptic when it comes to her music. Taylor embeds messages related to her relationships or feelings or addresses news headlines through her song lyrics, music videos and outfits.
By doing so, Swift creates a community among fans, who put their thinking caps on to figure out her winking references. The Swifties are excellent sleuths. Thanks to social media, theories proliferate even faster than the singer-songwriter’s own cryptic clues. Being her fan sometimes feels like a scavenger hunt combined with a dash of imaginative thinking. And this time she got them guessing, speculating, and decoding easter eggs ahead of her upcoming 1989 (Taylor’s Version) re-release.
Swift announced her upcoming “1989” re-recording last month while performing in Los Angeles. She also revealed that “Taylor’s Version” will include previously unreleased songs. Vault songs have been included in her previous re-recording releases – “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” and “Red (Taylor’s Version)” – as an extra perk for fans who stream and purchase the albums. She had also made them guess the song names back then by releasing a video of scrambled letters.
Google Vault Puzzles
Google paired up with Taylor Swift in a big surprise reveal. Some fans noticed a little blue vault pop up on Saturday when searching “Taylor Swift” on Google, building anticipation as Swifties awaited the reveal of what the vault meant. Basically, fans had to solve a series of 89 easter egg puzzles (because 1989) through Google’s search engine to reveal titles for new “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” vault songs.
Google explained the whole thing as a quirky Swiftie in their blog saying, “Dying to see how this one ends? We promise that the wait isn’t gonna be forever, but the prize will definitely be worth the pain. Cause darling, we’re a Swiftie dressed like a search engine.” After a collective of fans solve all 33 million puzzles, the vault track titles will be revealed.
🚨| Taylor Swift is seemingly teasing the 1989 (Taylor’s Version) vault track reveal through Google search!— The Eras Tour (@tswifterastour) September 16, 2023
“Welcome to the 1989 (Taylor’s Version) vault” pic.twitter.com/onGIorK7ra
How To Find & Solve Them
While it’s active, here’s how users will be able to find the puzzle:
- Head to Google.com.
- Enter “Taylor Swift” in the Search bar.
- Click the vault that appears in the bottom corner.
- Look at the puzzle and submit your answer in the Search bar.
Each puzzle is based on her songs or general TS trivia. The hint houses a song or album name, and the screen is filled with several letters and shapes. Each color signifies a unity of one word. You’re supposed to look at each set of letters and guess what the answer should be. Once you’re done, enter the answer in the search bar. You can solve one puzzle at a time, knowing you contributed a value of “1” to a total of 33 million.
While trying to solve these puzzles, many fans thought there was a glitch as they guessed and entered the answers but with no subsequent progress. Some were frustrated that they couldn’t participate or were upset at the large number of puzzle completions required when the game wasn’t working properly. “I feel like Taylor constantly forgets how big she is,” one user posted on X, (formerly Twitter). “33 million is a lot when you take into account the vault not working.” Another joked, “We’re definitely not getting 33m before the album comes out with this stupid vault not working.“
Welp I managed to solve a whopping 5 vault puzzles before it stopped letting me submit answers and then stopped showing up entirely so when y’all hit 33 Million just remember that you’d only have 32,999,995 without my contribution 😘— Steven Sullivan (@Stevensully99) September 19, 2023
Google addressed the errors in a post on X late Tuesday. “Swifties, the vault is jammed! But don’t worry, there are no blank spaces inside,” the company wrote. “We’re in our fix-it era and will be out of the woods soon.” Taylor posted a clip Tuesday afternoon of a blue vault opening on her Instagram, captioning the video with “You can tell me when the *search* is over… if the high was worth the pain. 😎” Searches for her name spiked after her post and reached her highest Google search interest, according to Google Trends data. Talk about SEO goals.
Fans were then able to resume the game and 33 million puzzles were solved on Wednesday morning. A key to the vault appeared on Google’s search engine to unlock a voice note from Swift announcing the tracks. “Oh look, you did it!” Swift said in the message. “You unlocked the ‘1989 (Taylors’ Version) vault and now I am so excited to share the new vault track titles with you.”
The titles are: “Is It Over Now?”, “Now That We Don’t Talk,” “Say Don’t Go” and “Suburban Legends.” The fifth title was hidden in the scrambled letters in Taylor’s Instagram clip from Tuesday which was later confirmed to be “Slut!” when she revealed the back covers for the album. “I can’t wait for this one to be out, seriously,” she wrote on her social media. “Thank you for playing along, sleuthing, puzzling and making these reveals so much chaotic fun (which is the best kind of fun, after all 😜).”
“1989 (Taylor’s Version)” is scheduled to release on October 27, exactly nine years after the original’s release. All the Swifties are waiting with bated breaths for this album re-release to drop, especially the new vault songs. Taylor proves herself not just as an all-rounder artist but also as a marketing maestro. Take her previous album releases or ongoing Eras Tour, Queen Tay Tay knows how to keep her fans engaged. And that’s what makes them such loyal Swifties as well.