Facebook takes on Shazam with in-app sound recognition

Facebook takes on Shazam with in-app sound recognition

22 MAY 2014

Facebook is adding sound recognition capabilities to its mobile app, allowing users to tag their posts with relevant songs, TV shows or films.

When writing a status update users will be able to turn on the feature to enable the smartphone’s microphone to detect music or dialogue in the background, and to share the information on the social network.

Facebook product manager Aryeh Selekman explained that users will see an audio icon moving on their screen when they write a status update if the functionality is enabled. If the service is able to match the sound it picks up with content, it will add it to the status update.

Facebook friends can see a 30 second preview of shared songs, while for TV shows the News Feed will show which season and episode has been tagged.

The feature will be rolled out to iOS and Android users in the US over the next few weeks.

Sound recognition apps Shazam and Soundhound have seen huge success: Shazam claims to have more than 450 million users globally (and more than 90 million monthly active users), while Soundhound revealed it had 200 million users in April.

Three of the world’s largest music companies recently invested a total of $9 million for stakes in Shazam, with the company having previously secured $40 million in investment from America Movil in July last year as part of “a strategic business collaboration for the Americas”.


Tim Ferguson

Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter... More

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