At first glance, Facebook’s latest ‘listening’ update sounds a bit too close for comfort. We maybe clutching at straws when it comes to concepts of privacy at this point, but Facebook wants to clarify a couple of things before sending everyone into a panicked frenzy.
Don’t know what I’m talking about? Read on!
Facebook’s latest feature is an update to your status updates – a Shazam like option that lets your network ‘listen in’ on what you’re tuning into whether its coming from the TV, computer or the radio. Facebook explains that ‘if you choose to turn the feature on when you write a status update, the app converts any sound into an audio fingerprint on your phone. This fingerprint is sent to our servers to try and match it against our database of audio and TV fingerprints. By design, we do not store fingerprints from your device for any amount of time. And in any event, the fingerprints can’t be reversed into the original audio because they don’t contain enough information.’
The creepy level is definitely heightened when auditory elements are added and especially when the word ‘microphone’ is mentioned. But bear in mind that sharing this new audio information is optional and Facebook has clarified that it is no step up from any other sound/music detection app that helps users detect song origins and artists. Song-sharing platforms like Spotify has already cemented music’s place as an essential ‘social’ pillar – creating interactions based purely on music tastes, so Facebook’s attempt to cover all grounds is not something that is far-fetched or irrationally placed. The intent behind this add-on is simply to add more depth to your newsfeed of shared activities and thoughts with streams of consciousness in audio.
For a lot of us, Facebook forms part of our lives, allowing us to keep people updated on our comings and goings, while some of us still maintain a safe distance, using the platform in self-prescribed doses. Will this feature significantly change how much we continue to share about our lives? We’ll have to wait and see!
Will your network be privy to your playlist or will you make sure that Facebook tunes out? Share your thoughts in the comments below!