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Alashazam! Eerie visions of the future as Facebook quietly change the game. Again.

Facebook is making life more seamless, so what is the fuss, asks James Kirkham, global head of social and mobile at Leo Burnett and co-founder of Holler.

James Kirkham, global head of social and mobile at Leo Burnett and co-founder of Holler

James Kirkham, global head of social and mobile at Leo Burnett and co-founder of Holler

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Last night, without huge fan fair or media attention, it was announced that Facebook was launching a Shazam-like music ID feature.

It means it can automatically recognise the song you’re listening to and then add it to your status update. The spy-like bugging app currently only performs this little piece of listening in when you’re writing in your status update, so it all feels neat and tidy. So far, so what, you might say.

The context and evolution of the thought becomes super interesting with huge ramifications in marketing and advertising, and a hyper connected you.

If you write your status update, then have Facebook inform you what you can see or hear right at that moment, that becomes quite a quantum leap. A sort of background ‘all seeing eye’, surveying the world around you and ready to pounce on any stimulus it can, to deliver you something more.

Facebook managing to recognise what’s on the TV in the background of your living room, and linking you up to a tune, soundtrack or some kind of related asset suddenly opens plenty of new doors which remove barriers and promotes an even more (frighteningly?) connected world.

Tight eco-system

In short, this new feature feels like the foundations of a future where all screens become one tight eco-system. What you’re watching can trigger your social platform to take you immediately into another place.

It is less about asking you if you want to explore further, and more about the stimulus of TV or music unlocking another door which your favourite social media platform has been housing all along. Every sound and background noise from anything other than your social network becomes a catalyst to make another one of these mind bending little doors, instantly enabling you to be transported to other places related to those noises. It is enough to make your head spin.

This new feature feels like the foundations of a future where all screens become one tight eco-system.

But this is a natural trajectory to this Shazam-like starting point. For now, even the feature in its simplest rawest form has real potential.

When we launched Skins back in 2005 for E4, in an era of Myspace, people in their tens of thousands wanted to know about the music which accompanied the incredible trailer which was made for the show. This sort of query is the perfect demonstration of the power of the platform, combining social search mentality and instant delivery of additional information connecting your ongoing use of social with the world around you. In this example, you could be delivered a link to buy The Gossip’s ’Standing In The Way of Control’ almost the moment you might query the sound you’re hearing in your states update.

It links up innocent musings with genuine questions, to a social sphere who will all share a common interest in your love of a new tune. It is a brilliant but incredibly subtle new dimension to our behaviours which could cause a seismic shift in the way we consider the rollout of marketing communications and campaigns.

Countless people will rant about the big brother like dominance that Facebook are continuing to barge into our lives, but there is also a freedom and an inevitability to all of this which means we’ll be embracing it. If lives become more seamless, with less obstacles, then who are we to make a fuss?

This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.uk

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