By Maher Saba, Engineering Director, Video
Starting today, 360-degree videos will begin rolling out in News Feed.
Our goal at Facebook is to connect you with the people and things that matter, every single day. Over time, we’ve seen that people enjoy more immersive content in their News Feeds. This is one reason video has been so successful on Facebook, and we’re excited to 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 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 beloved Star Wars universe.
There’s also a whole world of video creators and storytellers who are at the cutting edge of exploring this medium, and over the coming days they too will be able to upload their 360 videos to Facebook. We’re excited to see more innovative and compelling 360 videos being shared from these publishers.
If you’re using Facebook on the web or on Android, you should be able to see 360 videos in News Feed soon. We plan to roll this out for iOS in the coming months.
It’s early days, but we’re excited about the possibilities for 360 video and hope it helps people explore the world in new, immersive ways.
Updated 11/12/15: Starting today, people around the world are now able to watch 360 videos on their iOS devices. As with Android devices, you can explore a 360 video on iPhone by dragging around the video with your finger to see different angles, or simply by turning your device while a 360 video is playing. Additionally, people using a Samsung Gear VR and supported Samsung smartphone can easily play 360 videos from News Feed in their Gear VR.