- Facebook makes it easier to share less
- Facebook video ads coming to Australia
- Facebook unveils relationship 'Ask' button
Facebook is adding technology to its mobile apps that recognises the music, movies or television shows its users are enjoying, in the company's latest move to give prominence to media and entertainment on its social network.
The new feature, which must be activated by the user and is off by default, attempts to recognise the music or video playing in the background any time a Facebook user composes a status update. It will also provide a 30-second preview for the user's friends.
"When writing a status update – if you choose to turn the feature on – you'll have the option to use your phone's microphone to identify what song is playing or what show or movie is on TV," Facebook product manager Aryeh Selekman said.
Facebook, which announced the move in a post on its official blog on Wednesday, is working with streaming music services Spotify, Rdio and Deezer to offer the music previews.
If a television show is detected, Facebook will highlight the specific season and episode the user is watching and share it in their news feed.
The new tool comes as Facebook is increasingly competing with Twitter to become the main online venue where consumers discuss television shows, sports and other entertainment in real time.
The feature activates the microphone on a smartphone and detects the music, movie or television show playing in the background, similar to the way the popular Shazam app works for music and TV.
Facebook said songs or videos will only be identified and the feature, which recognises "millions" of songs, would not store sounds in the background.
The new feature will be available on the Android and iOS versions of its app in the US in the coming weeks, the company said. There is currently no word of when the feature will be available for Australian users.
Facebook also said it has sealed a partnership with French advertising and public relations giant Publicis Group emphasising image and video marketing at the social network and its photo-sharing service Instagram.
Facebook-owned Instagram in March landed its first deal with major ad agency Omnicom.
Facebook has maintained that Instagram's advertising strategy will involve displaying a limited number of high-quality images or videos from brands that already have a strong presence on Instagram.
Instagram's opening roster of advertisers included Adidas, Lexus, PayPal, Burberry and Ben & Jerry's ice cream.
Earlier this week, Facebook said video ads would be coming to Australian users from next month. The ads, which are already active in the US, will also roll out in France, Germany, Brazil, Japan, Canada and Britain in the coming weeks.
Also this week, the social network delved into the world of online dating by unveiling a new "Ask" button, which users can click on to ask their friends if they are single or in a relationship.
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