A bit more than a week ago, Facebook announced its new 360-degree video capability. It sounds really cool, right? But the truth is that: 1. YouTube did it first, and 2. Not many users seem to care (yet).
Also Read: YouTube Starts Showing 360-degree Video Ads
The new feature is already available on both mobile devices and desktops. It is in all aspects, very similar to what YouTube has already been doing for a little while. On your phone, you can simply move your device around the video, or tap and drag. On desktop, you click and drag your mouse around to explore the video in 360.
If you like our stories, there is an easy way to stay updated:
So, did Facebook really need 360-degree video? The answer is YES, because YouTube is doing it and in Facebook’s race to become the #1 online video platform, it just cannot afford to stay behind in term of technology.
But the truth is we expect way more from Facebook. Especially since the company acquired Oculus a year ago. Nevertheless, this is a good thing as the videos are rather well-made and quite immersive in fact. There are only a few available for now – probably because only a few companies have yet the means to produce such videos – but you can check some good examples from Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Discovery, GoPro (of course), and VICE.
Note that as for YouTube, 360-degree videos will only play on Facebook when browsing from Firefox or Google Chrome, and not from Safari nor Internet Explorer.
Try it now: