Facebook Is Listening


A new update to the Apple and Android Facebook app adds a feature that will listen to what the user is enjoying while supporting a quicker way to post. This new feature will allow users to skip clicking on the “Watching” or “Listening To” options and focus on writing their post.

Along with a Status Update on Facebook, users can attach which music artist, TV show, or movie they are listening to or watching at that moment. Facebook is looking to expand this by offering a feature close to what the popular app Shazam does. If the option is turned on, the Facebook app will attempt to identify which TV show, movie, or song that the user is enjoying at that time. If a match is found, the information will become available to add to the post.

Previously, only music artists or TV show names were able to be connected to the post. By listening, the app will become more specific and permit song titles to be displayed. Also, any posted song through this feature will approve a 30-second audio clip from that song to be heard by friends who see the post. This will give the user an opportunity to share more music and let  friends also hear their music favorites.

TV shows will also expand as this function will display which episode the user is watching. This option lets the user share how far they have watched a particular show. It will also allow the user to determine whether or not they want to read a post based on the episode their friend has posted

Those who have used and tested the new feature have stated that most songs, TV shows, and movies have been identified in under five seconds. The user does not have to wait until the entertainment is identified to finish the post. While the Facebook app is listening to audio, users can continue to type their update and the app will allow the user know when it has finished identifying the activity.

This new feature will become available to all Facebook mobile users within the next few weeks. It is built into the app and no new software is needed in order to download. There will be a new microphone icon option for on and off sharing. Turning on the feature will allow the phone’s microphone to listen to what the user is enjoying straightaway. When songs or TV shows are identified, the data quickly shows up and the user can attach it to the post.

Facebook has said that what the app listens to will not be recorded or stored on the device. The feature is completely optional and the original method used to search for music artists, TV show, and movies will stay intact. This new feature is only meant to expand and speed up posting what the user wishes to share.

Facebook has stated that this new feature was created in-house and that the technology behind it is superior to what is already available. The feature was built to be able to hear in low-volume settings as well as ‘canceling out’ surrounding ambient noise. Even with this new technology, the Facebook app will only attempt to listen for up to 15 seconds. If a match is not found, the feature will no longer use the microphone until another attempt is made.

In the past year, there have been 5 billion status updates that have included what the user is feeling or what they are enjoying. Facebook is listening to what users enjoy and plan to expand this feature in the future.

By Raul Hernandez

The Verge

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