Facebook has more than 1.5 billion people who watch at least 4 billion videos every single day.
This is quite a lot of content that goes through this social networking site and it just shows you how tastes for content have evolved from text-based to more richer video-based content.
With this realization, Facebook is even making the experience of viewing videos on the platform much better for the millions who use the service by rolling out a new tool. Just like Google’s YouTube, Facebook users will now be able to enjoy viewing 360-degree videos, a feature that brings virtual reality alive and kicking on this networking platform.
Competition with Google intensifies
It is not the first time we will be seeing Facebook go head to head with Google. In fact, this competition has grown to become, that wherever either company is, the other must also follow it. It is less than 6 months since Google introduced the ability to view videos in full circle on its video sharing platform, YouTube, and now that Facebook is bringing in one of its own, it will be very interesting to see how these two lock horns.
How Facebook’s 360-degree videos work
The engineering department of Facebook revealed that the new feature will leverage a set of snappers that are aimed at recording a scene’s 360 degrees view at once. What it means is that when viewing the video on Facebook, users will be able to pick any angle from which they want to watch the video.
When on the main site, the mouse will offer some specialized controls for viewing the videos. Those viewing the videos from a mobile device will have to physically turn around their phones or simply swipe a finger on the screen.
Release date of 360-degree views on Facebook is unknown
Even though Facebook has made it official that it will be rolling out a 360-degree viewing capability for its videos’ segment, there is no news on when the tool will officially be available for use. The company however noted that the service will first come to the web client and Android apps, but those using the Facebook app on iOS will have to watch out for the tool’s support “in the coming months”.
The aspect of having 360-degree videos on YouTube and Facebook is a massive boost for the companies driving Virtual Reality forward. This is true because these companies have been short of a market and now that more and more people will be available via these platforms, and hopefully more others, the audience for VR filmmakers is set to increase.
Facebook, on the other hand, has also shown some huge interest in VR headsets as it paid a $2 billion fee in 2014 to acquire the services of Oculus VR and the first Oculus Rift headset is set for its first release at the start of next year.