Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) first introduced 360 video in September as a way to keep people on Facebook pages and make them stay around longer. Usually, people would just click a YouTube video and leave.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) made 360-degree videos available in NEWS FEED. That means publishers were given the opportunity to create and upload 360 videos to Facebook to reach more audience and engage them in a new immersive experience. Some of the publishers Facebook announced were Star Wars, Discovery, GoPro, LeBron James & Uninterrupted, NBC’s Saturday Night Live, and VICE.
In September, Facebook made 360 video available to Android devices and desktop. Today, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) announced that people using iOS devices can now view 360 videos giving publishers even wider audience for their 360 videos. Users just have to tap and drag to see more of the video space.
Samsung Gear VR
In addition to Android, web and iOS, people who have Samsung Gear VR and Samsung smartphones that are supported, can now watch 360 videos from NEWS FEED using their Gear VR. This is more audience for publishers.
Microsite for 360 video makers
To support the growth of 360 video, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) created a new site dedicated to supporting filmmakers with resources, information, video uploading guidelines, FAQ and best practices. In addition, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is introducing optional “video control setting” for pages that are uploading 360 videos to Facebook. The control setting allow for editing the initial camera position before page owners upload their 360 videos.
Sharing 360 video content from users
It’s very evident that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) believes virtual reality is big and it’s the future by making it easier for users to upload 360 content they have on their consumer cameras. Facebook said they are working with camera makers, like Theta, Giroptic, IC Real Tech, and 360fly. These camera vendors will add the “publish to Facebook” option in their apps to make it easy for users to upload 360 videos as they will be shareable from within the app directly.
Monetizing the videos
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is widening the use of 360 videos for a reason of course. Publishers and their sponsors will want to insert their ads in the videos of course and Facebook will definitely get a cut of the revenue.
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is also introducing “360 videos from brands”. Facebook is testing to allow advertisers to use 360 videos in their ads making it a very engaging experience for users and will be more likely to pay attention to the advertisement.
The YouTube success experience has made many companies to focus on videos as a platform for advertisement. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is taking this approach very seriously focusing on multimedia in general and 360 videos and VR is particular. Indeed, This could create difficulty for Google’s YouTube.