As technology advances, we have just taken another step for virtual reality with 360 degree videos from Facebook. Virtual reality has just entered our daily lives and smartphones with the help of Facebook and GoPro. It all started last September, when support for 360 degree videos was launched by Facebook. The great news however have appeared yesterday, as such multidimensional videos will also be able to play on mobile devices, including iOS and Gear VR headsets from Samsung.
But what is exactly a 360 degree video? It does look like a normal one, until you point your mouse to the screen where the video is playing and then simply click and drag the mouse around the screen. In these way, users can watch the virtual experience from any angle. GoPro has previously released three 360 degree videos. The first one was about the unique experience of dune jumping and the second one showed how it feels to ski in Chile. The latest one released yesterday immerses its viewers in surfing in Tahiti.
Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook, released the announcement in a post, stating that they expect more people to start sharing 360 content as technology advances, making it easier for users to produce themselves such content. The announcement also included a 360 degree video filmed in North Korea and produced by ABC News. What is also worthy of mention is that a headset will no longer be needed to view such videos, and in order to navigate around the video, viewers will need to drag their fingers across the video or simply turn their device on one side. Furthemore, Facebook is launching a microsite for editing 360 degree videos before posting them, like a mini post production studio.
Those interested in experiencing such virtual realities can view 360 degree videos on channels from GoPro, Nickelodeon, BuzzFeed, ABC News and more. We can expect big companies and brands to start using the same technology as a marketing attempt to attract more viewers. Tests for videos have already started for ads by Nescafe, AT&T, Disney and Samsung. Since the social media mogul receives around 8 billion views daily, who could not exploit such an opportunity? As we take another step for virtual reality with 360 degree videos from Facebook, we can only wonder what the future holds for us.
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