Facebook Introduces 360-Degree Videos To Newsfeed

24 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Facebook adds 360-degree video to News Feed.

The social networking site has launched 360-degree videos on timelines so that users can move around and take in a whole scene as though they were part of it. The company has begun supporting videos that allow viewers to pan round the scene in a full circle, six months after YouTube added a similar feature to its service. “To create 360 videos, a special set of cameras is used to record all 360 degrees of a scene simultaneously.

Facebook today began rolling out 360-degree viewing at the leading social network, letting people change their perspectives in specially created videos.NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — On Wednesday (September 23), Facebook introduced 360-degree videos to its newsfeed platform, letting users experience video by looking around in every direction.Maher Saba, Facebook’s engineering director for video, called the addition a response to users enjoying “more immersive content in their News Feeds.” “In the future, imagine watching 360 videos of a friend’s vacation to a small village in France or a festival in Brazil — you’ll be able to look around and experience it as if you were there,” he wrote in a statement.

Facebook has introduced a 360-degree “spherical” video feature in its newsfeed, allowing users to roam around inside the latest “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” trailer. And fans of the sci-fi film franchise were some of the first to benefit, being able to immerse themselves in a scene from the desert planet of Jakku linked to the new movie The Force Awakens. This means that when the video is playing on Facebook, you can choose what angle you want to see it from,” explained engineering director Maher Saba.

The first batch of “360 videos” were published Wednesday as marketing material from the makers of Star Wars, NBC’s Saturday Night Live, Go Pro, and others. At just under a minute long, the clip allows the viewer to ride on Daisy Ridley’s character Rey’s speeder through the desert terrain, while taking in the whole landscape with just a quick drag of their mouse or swipe of their phone or tablet. On Facebook’s website, viewers will use their mouse to control the video view, while on mobile devices they will either swipe their finger on the touchscreen or physically turn around.

The immersive new feature being added to News Feed was being rolled out to Web browser and mobile devices powered by Google-backed Android operating systems. In the case of the “Star Wars” trailer, users can look behind a moving aircraft or see what is happening on the side by dragging their computer mouse over the video on a desktop.

Even so, the fact that both YouTube and Facebook are now supporting 360-degree videos is a shot in the arm for the nascent industry of virtual reality (VR) filmmakers, as they look for an audience beyond the tiny number of people who own VR headsets. “Virtual reality now is mobile-first. The interactive feature is a product of Oculus, the virtual reality firm Facebook acquired for $2 billion last March, reports The Christian Science Monitor. Headsets aren’t going to be the way it goes: it’s just your phone.” Facebook has a strong interest in headsets too: in 2014 it paid $2bn for headset developer Oculus VR, whose first commercial Oculus Rift headset will launch in early 2016.

Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.” Facebook is currently rolling out its new video format on its web and Android versions. If you try it on a smartphone, you’ll probably get this message: “360 Video is not yet available for this device.” Facebook says 360 Video works on Android, but it didn’t work during a quick test by CNNMoney.

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