Live 360° Video is Coming to Facebook



Live 360° video is coming to Facebook, which will combine the real-time excitement of live video, and the immersive experience of 360° content. The program is starting small for now, but is expected to expand to all Pages at some point in 2017.


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Live video itself isn’t new, but it’s quickly becoming one of Facebook’s newly established, most important content experiences.

Another emerging type of content on Facebook is 360° photos and videos, recorded and optimized for our News Feed with new technology that allows the viewer to rotate, spin around, and experience content multiple ways, giving the end user full control of where to look and when.

Facebook is now starting to combine the two formats by introducing Live 360° Video. The new format called “Live 360” will allow accounts to use a new Facebook Live API that supports 360° video. However, this new format is in its infancy, with solely National Geographic debuting the format, and other publishers to come over the next few months.

Right now, these new Live 360 videos will only exist in Facebook’s News Feed, so you won’t be able to watch on many mobile devices nor the Facebook-owned Oculus VR device until later down the road. With Live 360, Facebook will aim to combine the real-time effect of live video with the immersive experience of 360° camera-angles.

To get a taste of 360° content, watch this National Geographic video below. Even though it’s not real time, it gives you a taste of the types of storytelling and video journalism made possible by Facebook and its technology.

At Social Media Week Chicago in November, we heard National Geographic explain their process and commitment to high-quality and innovative storytelling in today’s fragmented media landscape. To watch this talk and learn more about live video, 360° content, and virtual reality, sign up for SMW Insider.

NatGeo’s first test with Live 360 video took already place, but since it’s no longer live, you don’t get the full experience. It’s still worth watching though (you can view it on Facebook here) to get a better understanding of the potential of this technology. You might not be able to change the perspective and get the full 360° experience, but you can see some of the unique features that Facebook is playing with for 360° and live video formats.

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