In September, Facebook unveiled its first collaboration with its Oculus division, bringing 360-degree videos to the News Feed on the web and Android devices. Now, the social network is pushing this feature to iOS as well, and beginning to test 360-degree ads. As before, anyone can publish these immersive videos, which appear normally in the News Feed and let users change their field of view either by tapping on the screen or web page, or moving their smartphone around in physical space.
More 360-degree content is coming — including ads
A number of publishers and brands including GoPro, Vice, and The Disney Channel have already published 360-degree content, and Facebook says there are more videos on the way from the likes of BuzzFeed, Nickelodeon, and ABC News. The social network is also launching a new microsite for the format, explaining how to upload the videos and best practices for shooting. It also says it's partnering with camera manufacturers including Theta, Giroptic, and IC Real Tech to create in-app "publish to Facebook" options for their 360-degree kit.
As with the original announcement, these initiatives show that Facebook is keen to popularize the 360-degree format as much as possible — after all, it's a gateway to the fully fledged virtual reality platforms that the company thinks are the future of social networks. And, of course, there's the opportunity to drum up more business from advertisers. Facebook says from today it will start testing 360-degree ads from companies including AT&T, Corona, Nescafe, Samsung, and Disney. Just wait until you start getting those in virtual reality, too.
Verge Video: Facebook introduces 360-degree videos