Facebook Will Put 360-Degree Spherical Videos Right in Your News Feed

By Sean Hollister on at

I think that 360-degree video is going to be a big deal. Apparently, Mark Zuckerberg agrees! He just announced that Facebook will soon be able to embed spherical videos right in your News Feed, much like YouTube 360.

So what's spherical video, anyhow? I could tell you, but why not just show you instead? Here's a quick, amateur 360-degree video that I shot with a special Ricoh Theta camera, by cramming it into the cushions of my 2015 Honda Fit's passenger seat.

Just load it up in a Chrome web browser, then click and drag with your mouse, or swipe around with your finger, or even use that little D-pad on the upper left, to see all around the car. You can even load it in YouTube on your Android phone and move the phone around to have a virtual window of sorts.

Here's a more professionally-shot example:

This is all possible because YouTube just added the ability to stream 360-degree videos. And now these sorts of experiences are coming to Facebook too.

Of course, video is going to be key for Facebook's Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, not just your flat monitor, and Zuckerberg's well aware of that. He told the crowd that it's going to be video-not just games-that will make a difference. He says that Facebook will be bringing more spherical video to Oculus as well, and possibly even live spherical content. The company revealed that—like Samsung—it's experimenting with streaming live spherical video too.

Imagine when you can share a full 360-degree immersive moment of your life with anyone you know, letting them almost feel like they're right there with you. That's not too far away.

Top image: Facebook example