360 degree videos are awesome. They enable you to re-live an experience as if you were actually there in person. With Facebook’s new feature you can experience the moment when and as it happens in 360 degrees. You can essentially attend all those events you wish and be completely immersed in the experience albeit virtually. Facebook has announced that from today 13th December, 2016 publishers can stream virtual-reality-like 360-degree videos directly to Facebook’s News Feed.
The feature will launch with a feed from National Geographic streaming live from the Mars Desert Research station in Utah at 11 PM local time (2000hr GMT). The stream will capture eight scientists emerge from 80 days isolation in pods that simulate the Martian environment. Facebook Live 360 will first be available to select pages via the Live API with a broad rollout for other Pages and Profiles sometime in 2017.
With Facebook Live 360, you will be able to scroll around the live feed with your mouse or change the view angle by moving your phone around. Facebook Live 360 is essentially a merge of Facebook Live, which was rolled out in August 2015, and Facebook 360 video, which launched in September 2015.
The downside is that as of now you will not be able to watch Facebook’s new 360-degree live videos on a Virtual Reality Headset. They will only be live in News Feed. The wait for 360-degree live videos to make their way to VR Headsets should not be long. Facebook has an interest in these niche too. Facebook owns Oculus, one of the VR industry’s key headset and content makers.
It is worth mentioning that Facebook is launching Live 360-degree videos merely two weeks after YouTube launched 4K live streaming for both 360-degree videos and standard videos. Currently, Facebook Live 360 does not support 4K resolution.