With Facebook 360, publishers can showcase their most compelling stories in a new and immersive way, bringing the viewer inside a different world through 360 photos and videos.
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, viewers can choose what angle they want to see it from. On the web, this is done by dragging around the video with your cursor. On mobile devices, viewers can drag with their finger — or even just turn their device.
360 video is currently viewable on the web and on Android and iOS devices.
When people discover a 360 video in News Feed, a new gyroscope animation tells them that the content is different. This animation is shown while the video is loading, and is replaced by the heading indicator when the video is ready to explore. If a views doesn’t tap the video or move their device within four seconds a helper animation prompts them to move their phone and explore the scene. This improved UI lets publishers concentrate on creating compelling videos without needing to add instructional text.
In addition, Facebook added a heading indicator that shows the viewer the current direction of view relative to the video’s initial orientation, as well as the current zoom level. If Guide is enabled, the heading indicator will show the viewer whether they’re in an automated guided view, or exploring freely. If they opt out of Guide, viewers can simply press the heading indicator to resume the automated view.
According to The Verge, one can now view live-streamed 360-degree video on Facebook in up to 4K resolution, helping increase the fidelity of streams for viewers who have a capable monitor and creators who have powerful enough streaming gear. “Those streams are also now accessible in virtual reality, if you’d rather watch the 4K video on a Samsung Gear VR. (Facebook says 4K / 360-degree live video isn’t supported on the Oculus Rift at the moment.) For nonprofits or pages that want to support nonprofits, Facebook now lets you add a “donate” button to raise money from viewers,” wrote Nick Statt for The Verge.