Facebook Will Listen In To Your TV & Music Habits, And Share Them With Everyone You Know

On Wednesday, everybody's favorite social media giant announced its creepiest new feature: soon, Facebook will listen to and identify the music and TV playing in its users' background. So now you can share the tune or show you're enjoying without even having to type — essentially taking our Netflix binge-watching culture to a whole new level of couch potato. And that's probably half the point. The new service isn't anything drastically new; essentially, it's Shazam, but for television content as well as songs. It's still at the "opt-in" stage, meaning that, unless you go in and actively change your settings, nothing will happen. If you're someone who happens to feel like Facebook isn't connected with you intimately enough, though, here's how it works once the feature is turned on: as you begin to write your status, Facebook will listen attentively to the music or movie sounds around you and offer to add that information to your status. Without your having to do a thing.

"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," Facebook said in a statement."That means if you want to share that you're listening to your favorite Beyoncé track or watching the season premiere of Game of Thrones, you can do it quickly and easily, without typing."

Of course, regardless of its optionality, the new feature will likely prove extremely useful for Facebook’s targeted ad campaign — already, the social media company collects data from your profile to suggest things that you might like based on things that you already do like. If it knows what songs you're listening to, and what movies you're watching (or even just what your friends are listening to and watching), you can bet it'll start a Netflix-like stream of TV-show and song-related suggestions.

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On top of that, over five billion status updates per year are about TV shows, movies or music; but considering how much we watch and how often there's a soundtrack to our lives, that number could be a whole lot higher — Facebook clearly knows that, and it wants in. The more the site can make its way into all aspects of our Web experience, the more it grows, the more advertisers will pay to get on there.

And it's potentially a very good way of bridging the gap between social media and our binge-watching culture — research has suggested that social media buzz might not necessarily affect a show's popularity, but if Facebook is responsible for driving new viewers to shows through previews and official pages, that will prove a huge win for the social networking site.

Essentially, with the new feature, TV shows can now be seamlessly part of the Facebook experience.