Facebook Brings 360-Degree Video To The News Feed
Working with its Oculus virtual reality division, Facebook rolls out immersive experience. Star Wars, GoPro, VICE and Saturday Night Live are among the first publishers to take advantage.
Facebook is giving 360-degree video a spin in the News Feed.
The social network announced today that it has started displaying 360-degree video, rolling out the immersive feature with a number of media partners, including Star Wars, Discovery, GoPro, LeBron James, NBC’s Saturday Night Live and VICE.
Anyone with a camera system that shoots in 360-degree mode will be able to upload in the format, but at first the videos will only be visible on the desktop and Facebook’s Android app. Desktop users are able to click and pan within videos; Android users can tap into videos and explore the scene by moving their phones around. IOS users will have to wait. Facebook says support for Apple devices will roll out in the coming months.
Facebook director of product Chris Cox said it’s a unique way to interact with content.
“On the phone especially, slowly turning around and tilting your device up and down to watch a scene as it’s playing is a really cool experience that takes you somewhere else,” Cox wrote in a Facebook post. “It’s the kind of thing that you run over to show someone else the moment you first see it.”
Here’s a demo of how 360 video looks on a phone:
Today we’re launching 360 video on Facebook. Starting very soon, anyone will be able to upload 360 video, and if you’re on a desktop or Android (or an iPhone in the coming months), you can pan around the video while it’s playing in your News Feed. On the phone especially, slowly turning around and tilting your device up and down to watch a scene as it’s playing is a really cool experience that takes you somewhere else. It’s the kind of thing that you run over to show someone else the moment you first see it. To showcase the technology, Disney is releasing a brand new, exclusive 360 experience for the upcoming Star Wars film today on Facebook, which will allow viewers to explore the planet Jakku while traveling on Rey’s speeder. I’m embarrassed to say I don’t know what that means, but we are honored to have such a legendary launch partner. A bunch of great partners have come up with really interesting takes on what can be done with 360 that are also launching today — shark diving with the Discovery Channel, on the set of the 40th anniversary of SNL, on-the-ground reporting in Afghanistan from VICE, motocross riding in the Idaho desert with with GoPro, LeBron James taking you inside his training routine. It’s an open-ended format, so we’re really excited to see what creators around the world come up with as they get their hands on it.
Posted by Chris Cox on Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Facebook’s move follows YouTube, which started supporting 360 video last March. Facebook worked with engineers in its Oculus division to bring the virtual reality-style feature to the main Facebook platform. It’s the next logical step for Facebook, Will Cathcart, a director of product management, said in the Verge. Text came first, then photos, then video, then autoplay video.
“Over time we’ve seen the modes of sharing shift to become more mobile, and more immersive,” Cathcart said. “Here what we’ve done is look at all the really cool 360-degree video content people are creating and think through, what’s the right way to bring that experience to News Feed.”
Here are several early examples of the format:
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Immersive 360 ExperienceSpeed across the Jakku desert from Star Wars: The Force Awakens with this immersive 360 experience created exclusively for Facebook.
Posted by Star Wars on Wednesday, September 23, 2015
GoPro Spherical: Sand Dune Jumping in VR with Ronnie RennerCheck out freeride legend Ronnie Renner FMX carving up the dunes in Idaho with full 360 view. For the most immersive experience, click and drag the camera.
Posted by GoPro on Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Striving For Greatness: An UNINTERRUPTED OriginalI was born with God given talent, but I PROMISE you that when the bright lights go down I am grinding it out and working my tail off to get better. I will never cheat this game… Catch the full series on UNINTERRUPTED #StriveForGreatness #UNINTERRUPTED #IPROMISE
Posted by LeBron James on Wednesday, September 23, 2015