Facebook has begun rolling out its 360-degree videos in the News Feed beginning today, inline with our earlier report. The 360-degree video will take Facebook a step ahead in offering more immersive content for the people on the News Feed.
Creating 360-degree videos will require a camera rig setup like the one offered by Go Pro, or using products like Ricoh Theta. The new mode of video will allow viewers to pan zoom the video and switch to the desirable angle. On the web, this can be done by dragging around your mouse on the video and on Mobile the angle can be controlled by tilting the smartphone, thanks to the inbuilt gyroscopes. The Video will turn in sync with the phones moment, if you find this mode of controlling the camera angle sensitive you can also pan the zoom by dragging your fingers across the screen.
Facebook has been on a innovating binge lately, from the Celebrity Streams to the Facebook Signal, the social media giant is leaving no stones unturned in making Facebook better and more meaningful. This new feature will also let brands leverage their products in a better way, just imagine how one could set up a virtual shop and let buyers pick up the products themselves.
That being said, although Facebook will allow everyone to publish the 360-degrees, the idea of chipping in for a new Camera rig can deter many. As of now, Facebook will have several publishers including Star Wars, Discovery, GoPro, LeBron James, Saturday Night Live and Vice share the new 360 videos on Facebook. The Disney and the Lucas Film duo has already debuted an exclusive 360 experience for its upcoming installment of Star Wars, The Force Awakens.
It goes without any doubt that Facebook has put in this feature with the help of Oculus, a VR startup that it acquired a year ago. The innovative edge of the videos will largely depend on the publishers and the approach they choose to reach out to thier audience. The 360 video is indeed a cool feature but just like everything else on this feature it too comes with a catch, iOS has been left behind and as of now the new feature will be available only on Android and Facebook web. On a separate note Youtube has already started offering the 360-degree videos but as compared to Facebook it has limited avenues to leverage the same.
The 360 videos will open up a new level of possibilities, it is but a matter of time before Virtual Reality movies become mainstream. In fact, Oculus has already fired up a creative studio for VR movies called the “Story Studio” and is inviting the film making veterans to give it a try.