Facebook giving smartphone app an ear for music

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Facebook today said its mobile application will be getting an ear for music, as well as for film or television show sound tracks. A feature being added in coming weeks to Facebook in the US on smartphones or tablets powered by Apple or Android software is intended to recognize songs, shows or movies based on listening, according to product manager Aryeh Selekman. “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,” Selekman said in a blog post.

Once activated the audio feature searches for titles of songs, shows or films matching verses, lines or sound tracks and then lets people add the information to Facebook posts, according to Selekman. Music shared in a post using the technique will include the option of Facebook friends getting 30-second previews of songs. Information added to posts about recognized TV shows will include which episode was being watched “so you can avoid spoilers,” Selekman said.

Facebook also said it had sealed a partnership with French advertising and public relations giant Publicis Group emphasizing image and video marketing at the leading social network and its smartphone imagery-sharing service Instagram. “Our work with Publicis will center on bringing clients closer to our products, and creating new planning and measurement tools to make buying easier, more efficient, and ultimately prove out ROI,” Facebook global agency director Patrick Harris said in an email response to an AFP inquiry.

Facebook-owned photo sharing service Instagram in March landed its first deal with a major ad agency. The leading social network wouldn’t disclose financial aspects of the alliance with Omnicom, but online reports indicated it could be worth as much as $100 million in ads from clients the agency represents. 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 at Instagram. Instagram in November began displaying ads as Facebook moved to start making money from the smartphone photo sharing service it bought in a billion-dollar deal in early 2012.

Instagram’s opening roster of advertisers included Adidas, Lexus, PayPal, Burberry and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. California-based Facebook is carefully adding magazine-quality photo ads to Instagram as it hopes to bring in revenue from the service without alienating users.