Last year Facebook added a new button for posting your “feelings” in status update. Since then it has seen 5 billion statuses of this kind and today it is taking the feature one step further by taking away the need to even type. Today onwards, Facebook on mobile will make conversations quicker and easier by introducing a new way to share and discover music, TV and movies.
The new opt-in feature announced by Facebook will have the option to use your phone’s microphone to identify what song is playing or what show or movie is on TV. The Shazam and Soundhound-style matching system will be active any time you’re writing a status update.
Sharing more on how the feature works, Facebook says: “If you’ve turned the feature on, you’ll see an audio icon moving on the screen when you write a status update. If the feature finds a match, you can then choose to add the song, TV show or movie to your post.”
If you choose to share the music then your friends will see a 30-second preview of the song. For TV shows, the story in News Feed will highlight the specific season and episode you’re watching.
However, Facebook confirms that no sound is stored and you’ll always get to choose what you post to your friends. And you can always turn the feature off at any time by clicking the audio icon in the top right of the screen.
What looks exciting on the face could be very interesting as the feature is rolled out by Facebook. Verge argues that “Facebook knows where I am, who I’m in a relationship with, and where I live — and now Facebook can hear what I’m doing?”
However, the feature could have its own challenges such as how would the app respond to background noise, bad cell service, and hundreds of channels and millions of songs around the world. Facebook’s implementation, in fact, only works in the US for now, can recognize only 160 TV channels, struggles to recognize music in commercials and only recognizes a few million songs so far.
Nevertheless, the new feature is not meant to compete with Shazam but to draw attention to the Facebook pages of TV shows and movies to users. When Facebook recognizes a TV show or movie being played in the background, a link to the corresponding page will be added to your status. When Facebook recognizes a song, Spotify, Rdio, and Deezer previews will show up based on which music app you’ve most recently used. This also means that Facebook get’s to know more about you and will help it to strengthen its foundation in “second screen” space.
Facebook says that the feature will roll out gradually to US users on iOS and Android over the coming weeks.
So what else does Facebook want to recognize next?