Facebook has enabled a 360-degree option that allows users with Web and Android versions to view videos from any angle.
Facebook’s latest addition to its video offering sees the debut of 360-degree videos on the social network.Facebook announced the new feature yesterday, claiming that the 360-degree videos are Facebook’s response to users’ increasing preference for immersive content in their News Feed. The company has worked in collaboration with its virtual reality Oculus division to bring the new feature to the web and Android versions of the social network.
“We’ve seen that people enjoy more immersive content in their News Feeds,” video engineering director Maher Saba said in a blog post.
“We’re excited to take it a step further with 360-degree video.”
Synched rings cameras are used to capture video in a way that lets viewers virtually look around as if they are in the middle of a scene.
In desktop computer browsers, changing angles can be done using on-screen cursors. On mobile devices, shifting perspectives can be done by dragging fingers or just turning handsets, according to Saba.
Facebook users will initially be able to enjoy 360-degree video content from publishers such as Star Wars, GoPro, Discovery, VICE, NBC’s Saturday Night Live, and LeBron James & Uninterrupted. The videos provide an initial view of what to expect from the new video format, with Lucasfilm and Disney combining with Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) to reveal immersive content from the seventh installment in the Star Wars series – Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The exclusive trailer perhaps provides the most striking comparisons between the Star Wars movies of old and the new interactive Star Wars content on Facebook.
360-degree videos requires special cameras with the ability to capture videos from every angle simultaneously. For users to be able to view any angle at any given time, the output from the camera has to be stitched together to create a seamless 360-degree experience. Facebook users can choose their viewing angle with the new video and as the Star Wars demo shows, users can look around almost as if it they are in an open world role-playing game.
Publishers sharing 360-degree video at launch included GoPro, Discovery, and Saturday Night Live, according to Facebook.
Disney and Lucasfilm will debut a 360-degree video focused on its upcoming film “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Saba said.