Facebook has announced a new capability allowing users to upload, view and engage with 360-degree videos on the website’s news feed. The move follows YouTube’s introduction of a similar service in March earlier this year.
The new video feature on Facebook allows the user to ‘look around’, choose the angle from which to view content and ‘experience it as if you were there’. On the website this can be done by dragging around the video with a mouse, and on mobile devices by dragging with a finger or just by turning your device. Users will be able to hold up their phone and the 360 video will follow them as they turn.
The announced was made on the Facebook site with links to exclusive videos including 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 viewers inside his training routine. Facebook also partnered with Disney to showcase exclusive 360 content for the upcoming Star Wars film and said it was ‘honored to have such a legendary launch partner.’
The service will be made available online and on Android soon, and Facebook plans to roll it out for iOS in the coming months.
‘A bunch of great partners have come up with really interesting takes on what can be done with 360’ said the social media company, concluding, ‘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.’