It’s been just over a month since Facebook began rolling out 360-degree video publishing support to a handful of brands. Some of the initial publishers included Star Wars, Discovery, GoPro, and Vice.
Now Facebook is ramping up their 360-degree video efforts even further and jumping into virtual reality with the addition of Samsung Gear VR supported video playback.
On top of announcing that 360 videos can now be viewed on iOS devices, expanding upon the already available option for Android devices and the web, users who own a Samsung Gear VR headset can now watch 360-degree videos from their News Feed. This comes just in time before the consumer Gear VR headset hits store shelves November 20th.
With a Gear VR headset and supported Samsung smartphone, 360 videos will now have an option to “Watch in VR”. Once selected, the user will be prompted to insert their phone into the Gear VR for a more immersive virtual reality viewing experience. This in fact helps move Facebook ahead of YouTube in providing a library of VR content for Samsung Gear VR owners. Just last week YouTube unleashed VR content on their platform by also providing a “watch in cardboard” option to 360-degree videos.
Facebook is also showing their full support for video creators. The company has launched a dedicated 360 video microsite to provide relevant resources and information on getting started with creating and publishing 360-degree videos.
More publishing settings have also been a major request from brands uploading 360-degree video to the platform, and now Facebook also announced that they are allowing page owners to edit the initial camera position and vertical field of view before publishing their videos, giving additional control of post-production publishing.
Facebook also hinted that they are working with several camera makers, like Theta, Giroptic, IC Real Tech, and 360fly to provide in-app “publish to Facebook” options. Videos taken with these cameras will be shareable directly from the native mobile apps, making it easier to share your next 360 birthday party with the family.