updated 03:08 pm EDT, Wed May 21, 2014
Mobile app can recognize TV shows, films, songs, add them to status updates
Facebook has confirmed rumors from earlier today, that it is allowing users to recognize content being watched or listened to. Users of the social network's iOS and Android apps will soon be able to include movies, TV shows, and songs playing nearby in status updates, with the app able to automatically recognize soundtracks while the user is writing.
If the feature is turned on, an audio icon will appear on screen, giving the option to add the title of the song, show, or film to the post, though the status author can elect to turn the feature off by tapping the icon. The company claims recorded sounds are used just for recognition purposes and are not stored at all. Friends will be able to play a 30-second preview of songs included in status updates, while TV show recognition will reveal the title, season number, and episode in the News Feed.
The Shazam-like feature gives Facebook a few additional benefits. It allows the social network to become a central hub for friends to discuss TV shows, potentially increasing the amount of time people spend on the site. It also provides Facebook a list of an individual's media preferences, potentially allowing it to offer recommendations on other shows or artists to listen to, as well as to improve advertising it displays to each user.
Facebook states it will be rolling out the app update in the United States in the coming weeks.