Facebook is no exception when it comes to 360-degree media. Following the recent excitement surrounding virtual reality and and immersive videos, Facebook has launched a brand new application called Facebook 360 that will allow users with a Samsung Gear VR in their possession to lose themselves in publicly shared 360-degree content.
Facebook added support for 360-degree media back in 2015. ANd since them, the company has seen unprecedented response. Over 1 million 360 videos and 25 million 360 photos have been published and the company has now decided to go to town with a dedicated app for the content. And hence, the first ever, Facebook-branded VT application that is now doing the rounds of the market.
The best thing about Facebook 360 is that it makes it very, very easy to discover 360 media in a much more native manner. You can still watch the content over your smartphone or your desktop of course, but 360 degree media is meant to be watched over VR headsets and that is exactly what Facebook wants to encourage with its new app.
Facebook 360 is available through the Oculus app on any Gear VR-compatible device and the company hopes, that by making it easy to discover content, it will encourage more people to go for immersive media. You can use the application to watch 360-degree videos from artists, professional creators and buddies but what is more, you can also hop to their profile and follow them from right within the Gear VR app.
The app also allows you to save photos and videos for later. What’s more, you can also share them to your own profile page. The app can also be used to watch your own 360-degree media from the VR headset.
Facebook has also promised to add reactions to the app soon. What that means, is that the company feels that the 360-degree ecosystem is now ready to go social and now, there are enough people on-board to spark off a chain reaction. The company is now in the process of putting the required tools into their hands.
Meanwhile, Facebook has made an interesting choice in launching the app over Gear VR instead of Oculus Rift. Facebook helped developed this version of Gear VR, so its not all that strange. What is more, Gear VR has a much wider reach than most headsets out there. Launching the app over VR rather than Rift is thus a strategic decision that is probably smart under the circumstances. Once enough people get hooked, they could then go for the more premium Oculus headset as well.