Facebook is to release a new feature on its mobile app that


Facebook is to release a new feature on its mobile app that “listens” to your music and TV shows.

If the song or show is recognised by the app, users can publish the information on their profile or to selected friends. The service hopes to take advantage of the “second screen” trend, which sees fans of TV shows in particular sharing their experiences on social networks.

However, some users have privacy concerns.The feature, which will be available in a few weeks’ time, uses the microphones inside users’ smartphones to detect nearby music or TV shows. As the user begins writing a status update, a small animated icon will appear at the top of the app.

If the app detects the appropriate audio signals and finds a match from its database, the user can then share what he or she is watching or listening to.

Facebook says the feature can be turned off at any time, the audio recording is not stored anywhere and the device cannot identify background noise or conversations.

“If you share music, your friends can see a 30-second preview of the song. For TV shows, the story in News Feed will highlight the specific season and episode you’re watching,” said a Facebook spokesperson.

However, you won’t be the only one to think that this may well be an invasion of your privacy. While the idea is nice and technology interesting, do you want Facebook ‘observing’ your audio and surroundings? Currently it is an opt-in, but based on previous social media privacy blunders I would have some concerns, especially as Facebook could choose to push an advert to your phone based on your tracked listening habits.

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