Facebook brings brings 360-degree video to your newsfeed based on the observation that people enjoy more immersive content in their News Feeds. They claim that that is one reason video has been so successful on Facebook, making them take it a step further with 360 video.
To create 360 videos, a special set of cameras is used to record all 360 degrees of a scene simultaneously. This means that when the video is playing on Facebook, you can choose what angle you want to see it from. On the web you can do this by dragging around the video with your cursor, and on mobile devices you do it by dragging with your finger - or even just by turning your device. You'll be able to hold up your phone and the 360 video will follow you as you turn, looking around, to experience things from all over the world like never before.
In a blog post, Facebook's Engineering Director of Video Maher Saba states that," 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. Along with updates from your friends and family, you will also be able to discover amazing new content on Facebook from media companies, organizations, and individual creators."
There are a number of publishers sharing new 360 videos on Facebook today, including Star Wars,Discovery, GoPro, LeBron James & Uninterrupted, NBC's Saturday Night Live, and VICE. These videos help show the range of possibilities with this new medium. For example, Disney and Lucasfilm are debuting an exclusive 360 experience from its upcoming movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens, bringing fans inside the Star Wars universe.
Facebook also adresses the world of video creators and storytellers who are at the cutting edge of exploring this medium, and says that over the coming days they too will be able to upload and share their 360 videos.
For Facebook on the web or on Android, 360 videos will be available in News Feed soon. They plan to roll this out for iOS in the coming months.