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Facebook gets Shazammy with new audio recognition feature

Don't feel like typing what music you're listening to or TV show you're watching into your status update? Don't worry. The social network can now listen, recognize, and do the work for you.


Facebook has added a new layer of technical sophistication to what users can do with their status updates. Taking the form of a Shazam-like feature, the social network launched "audio recognition" on Wednesday.

This opt-in feature listens to users' background music, movies, or TV shows when they're writing a status update and will automatically fill in the update with this information. So, if users don't want to type what music they're listening to or TV show they're watching into their Facebook status, the social network can do it for them -- just by listening.

"That means if you want to share that you're listening to your favorite Beyoncé track or watching the season premiere of Game of Thrones, you can do it quickly and easily, without typing," Facebook product manager Aryeh Selekman wrote in a blog post.

"If you share music, your friends can see a 30-second preview of the song," Selekman continued. "For TV shows, the story in News Feed will highlight the specific season and episode you're watching, so you can avoid any spoilers and join in conversations with your friends after you've caught up."

Facebook's audio recognition feature is similar to the emoticon tags for status updates that it rolled out last year. These tags lets users pick from an array of emoticons to express how they're feeling or what they're doing at any given moment, such as "sad," "drinking hot chocolate," or "listening to Nick Warren." Over the past year, Facebook says users shared more than 5 billion status updates with these feeling- and activity-oriented emoticons.

For now, the audio recognition feature is only being rolled out in the US. It's available on Android and iOS and users should expect to see it within the next few weeks.