At the F8 Facebook Developer Conference on Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, announced quite a few new and exciting things.
One of these is 360-degree video support for the News Feed. It comes a year since Facebook announced that it bought Oculus Rift, a virtual reality technology company. It also comes a few months after YouTube announced 360-degree videos on its platform. At least now we know what Facebook hinted at in its cryptic message about “Teleportation Stations” earlier on in the day!
So what does the announcement mean to us, and what is it likely to bring to our experience of Facebook? It does open up a whole new world of content, but don’t expect much for now. The technology will probably take a while. Right now photos is the most shared content on Facebook. It will take years for video to overtake photos… As Mark Zuckerberg explained in his Facebook post about the announcement:
There’s a clear technology trend enabling people to share richer and richer content… Five years ago, most content on Facebook was text. Now it’s photos. Fast forward five years and it will be video. After that, it will be immersive content like virtual reality.
The announcement at least explains one of the uses for Oculus Rift‘s technology, and points in the direction of what the content of the future is, at least according to Facebook. VR is becoming a really big trend lately, and whereas ordinary 2D or even traditional 3D video is so big in 2015, it probably will be bigger in the next few years until VR takes over. Our video experience in the near future (on our Facebook News Feeds at least), is going to be nothing like what we are used to today. It will be truly immersive. Even live broadcasts will be able to “come to life” in 360-degree fashion.
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Not much else was explained during the presentation, other than that “spherical videos” as they are called, will run as a native format in the News Feed. Imagine what this technology is going to do to online advertising. The possibilities are truly endless and this is very exciting! Watch this space. The announcement really upped the ante for Facebook.
As Mark Zuckerberg himself said last year (when Facebook bought Oculus Rift):
The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you’re actually present in another place with other people.
If any of you thought Star Trek when you heard “Teleportation Stations”, prepare yourselves. Here comes the “Holodeck” we’ve all been waiting for.
Images courtesy of Facebook