Hot on the heels of YouTube, Facebook has introduced 360 degree video support.
In contrast to YouTube’s varied but low key introduction of the new video format, Facebook debuted the latest addition to their video line up with a high profile Star Wars promo – a speeder tour of the ‘Jakku desert’ from the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (sweet).
Facebook 360 Degree Video
Facebook’s technical offering of 360 video is very similar to YouTube’s. Users can use the mouse cursor to move the point of view during playback. An icon in the bottom left highlights that option to change perspective. Additionally when using the Facebook mobile app users can change the point of view by simply moving their phone or tablet like a virtual window.
360 degree video is owes its continuing rise in popularity to the resurgence of Virtual Reality Technology. Many dedicated content platforms are being developed exclusively for VR video content.
Facebook has already invested heavily in virtual reality with the 2014 $2 Billion acquisition of VR ground-breaker Oculus VR. Virtual reality head sets like the upcoming Oculus Rift are the perfect viewing device for 360 degree content.
A whole slate of VR headset devices are in development and on the verge of worldwide launch. Sony have the upcoming Playstation VR (formally Project Morpheus), Gaming giants Value have teamed with HTC to produce the HTC Vive while Samsung have already launched their VR smartphone attachment system Samsung Gear VR which was developed as a low cost entry device with Oculus. Microsoft it’s fair to say are ahead of the curve an already looking beyond ‘virtual content’ with the Hololens which partners a VR headset with an Augmented Reality system.
360 Video Degree Possibilities
We’ve already showcased some examples of 360 degree video from YouTube’s showcase. The new format enhances video’s already engaging properties – allowing viewers to have more choice over what they focus on in a video. Perfect for marketing content such as tours and product demos.
Facebook sees video is a slightly different light than YouTube. For Facebook video content is more about sharing experiences – something that 360 degree video is perfect for. Not only do viewers get to see what other Facebook users are up to, they get an immersive experience and are put in the middle of the experience.
360 Video Limitations
Content creators are realising the potential for creating an enhanced viewing experience. Widespread adoption is a few years away. One of the critical factors of using 360 video at that moment is that it uses a great deal more bandwidth due to larger spherical video frame.
Talk Video with Workshop Media
Whether you’re interested in taking advantage of using video on Facebook to promote yourself or business or you’re looking for a complete Video Production and Video Marketing package – talk to Workshop Media. We’re always happy to help and chat about what video can do for you.