Facebook is introducing a way for users to automatically identify what music, TV show or movie they’re engaged with and instantly share that in a status update.
Via a smartphone’s microphone, Facebook users will have the option to automatically ID what song they’re listening to or what show or movie is on TV — and then post that with a comment on their newsfeed.
“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 explained in a blog post announcing the new feature.
The feature isn’t available yet. Facebook said it will be coming to apps for Android and Apple iOS devices in the U.S. in the coming weeks.
If Facebook users share music, friends will be able to listen to a 30-second preview of the song. For TV shows, the post in the newsfeed will highlight the specific season and episode a user is watching — thereby avoiding spoilers, Facebook helpfully noted.
The media-sharing option is similar to Facebook’s current feature that lets users share an emoticon or other icon in a status update (like a “feeling proud” icon, a TV icon for “watching” a show or headphones for “listening to” music). According to Facebook, users shared more than 5 billion status updates that included such icons in the past year.
Facebook’s auto-ID feature presents major new competition for Shazam Entertainment, whose app popularized the concept initially with music and now encompasses TV. According to Facebook, the audio-matching software was developed in-house. “We wanted to build our own feature for audio matching so we can freely develop the feature over time with additional functionalities,” a rep said.
Last year Facebook signed a deal with metadata provider Rovi. Under that agreement, the social giant licensed the Rovi Video data set, which includes info on 4.5 million TV episodes and sporting events and 150,000 movie titles. In addition to metadata such as plot synopsis, cast and poster art, Facebook has access to TV listings data broken down by pay-TV provider.
Watch a demo of Facebook’s new feature: