Looking for new ways to encourage Facebook users to share media that’s being watched and listened to, the social network has announced a new feature that allows users to turn on an audio recognition tool that can recognize music as well as TV shows playing in the background. Explained in detail on the Facebook Newsroom, using the feature will require an Android or iOS mobile device in order to utilize the built-in microphone.
After the feature has been activated within the Facebook app, users will need to tap the “What Are You Doing” icon within the status update interface. At this point, the microphone activates and starts listening for music or a television show. Users will know that it’s listening when the animated audio icon appears in the top right corner of the mobile interface. Assuming Facebook is able to locate a match to background music, the name of the song and album cover appears at the top of the screen.
When tapped, the application will auto-populate “Listening to Song Name” within a new status update. After the status update is published, Facebook will auto-populate a link that will allow users to listen to the song on a service like Spotify. However, that clip will be limited to 30 seconds of the song.
The process is fairly identical with television shows, but the data populated within the status update includes the show name as well as the episode information. Conceptually, this could help Facebook users avoid spoilers as well as find like-minded friends that are watching the same episode in order to discuss at a later time.
According to the post, the feature will roll out to the Android and iOS platforms in the coming weeks. Assuming users start using the feature heavily, this type of data could be very valuable to Facebook. The social network would have much better insight into user preferences in the entertainment space and would be able to provide more targeted ad placement options to advertisers.