Watching videos on Facebook just got a lot more interesting.
We're not sure about you, but we don't use Facebook for watching videos online. There's YouTube for that, or even Vimeo, Hulu, etc. If we watch a video on YouTube, it's because our cousin just had a baby and posted a video of the kid pooping himself for the first time. Admittedly, we also click on viral videos that happen to surface in our feed, but that's about it.
Facebook, presumably, has noticed it can improve its video experience, because it's latest announcement sort of addresses that situation. The social network has said you can now post virtual reality-like, immersive videos shot with 360-degrees cameras (like GoPro's spherical rig), but you can only view them on the web or newer Android devices for now.
With 360-degree videos on the web, you click within the player and drag around to see the scene, while mobile device users move their phone around to see different angles and aspects of the clip. It makes the video experience on Facebook more engaging and interactive, as you’re now able to fully look around and explore things from across the world.
Keep in mind Facebook bought Oculus VR, the company that makes the Rift virtual-reality headset, and Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, has said VR will likely be the next major computing platform. So, by adding support for 360-degree videos, we're assuming Facebook is getting its social network ready to play nice with future Oculus developments.
It should be noted though that YouTube already supports 360-degree videos, and they're not exactly common or hugely popular. Still, if you'd like to see what 360-degree videos look like on Facebook, check out some of the first examples from publishers below, including ones from Discovery, GoPro, LeBron James and Uninterrupted, Vice, and... Star Wars.
Disney and Lucasfilm have debuted an exclusive 360-degree clip from its upcoming movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Yeah. We know. Amazing. Watch it here:
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Immersive 360 Experience
Speed across the Jakku desert from Star Wars: The Force Awakens with this immersive 360 experience created exclusively for Facebook.Posted by Star Wars on Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Ever wanted to swim with a shiver of sharks? MythBuster Adam Savage takes you underwater in Virtual Reality to explore up close!Posted by Discovery on Wednesday, September 23, 2015
GoPro Spherical: Sand Dune Jumping in VR with Ronnie Renner
Check out freeride legend Ronnie Renner FMX carving up the dunes in Idaho with full 360 view. For the most immersive experience, click and drag the camera.Posted by GoPro on Wednesday, September 23, 2015
LeBron James and Uninterrupted
Striving For Greatness: An UNINTERRUPTED Original
I was born with God given talent, but I PROMISE you that when the bright lights go down I am grinding it out and working my tail off to get better. I will never cheat this game… Catch the full series on UNINTERRUPTED #StriveForGreatness #UNINTERRUPTED #IPROMISEPosted by LeBron James on Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Front Line Diaries: Afghanistan, 2015
"Over 18 months after our withdrawal, there is almost no evidence that we were ever in Afghanistan, let alone that we spent billions of dollars on reconstruction, development and security. Many Afghans look to the future with fear. We didn’t leave because we achieved our goals, we left because we gave up on them."Posted by VICE on Wednesday, September 23, 2015