Facebook mobile app adds new Shazam-like audio recognition feature

Saqib Shah
May 22, 2014

The latest update to Facebook’s mobile app for iOS and Android automatically recognises the song you’re listening to or TV show you’re watching, so that you can easily add it to your status.

The new feature (which brings to mind the Shazam music recognition app) is called ‘audio recognition’ and starts listening as soon as you start typing a new status. There’s no need to tap “Listening to” or “Watching” in the status-creation screen.

You can opt to use the feature for the first time by tapping a new button inside the status window.

When the service matches your audio, a badge pops up over Facebook’s feelings button, a small smiley face. For the service to get it right, the hope is that it will match your audio by the time you finish writing your status.


Unfortunately, for us here in the UK (and the rest of the world), the new feature will only be available in the US for the time being. Additionally, it can only recognise 160 TV channels, struggles to recognise music in commercials (which are a big part of Shazam’s business), and only recognises a few million songs so far.

The underlying goal for the new feature is to draw attention to the Facebook pages of TV shows and movies.

When Facebook recognises a TV show or movie being played in the background, a link to the corresponding page will be added to your status.

When Facebook recognises a song, Spotify, Rdio, and Deezer previews show up based on which music app you’ve most recently used.

Despite the partnership with Spotify, it seems that this new Facebook feature undercuts   the music streaming service’s own promotional push to get itself on to the social network via its ’say it with a song’ ads.

In the promo clips, users are encouraged to add Spotify music urls to their Facebook messages in order to describe their moods via the songs they are listening to on the service.

Facebook says that the feature will roll out gradually to US users on iOS and Android over the coming weeks.


About the Author

Saqib Shah

Tech/gaming journalist for What Mobile magazine and website. Interests include film, digital media and foreign affairs.

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