Facebook is introducing a 360-degree photo and video app called Facebook 360 for Samsung Gear VR, powered by Oculus.
This is the social network’s first attempt at launching an app for Virtual Reality (VR) after many tech giants have already ventured into VR technology via other means such as cameras. With the launch of this new app, Facebook is incorporating VR content in its social media platform. According to the company, more than 25 million 360-degree photos and over a million 360-degree videos have been published on the platform till date. With so much 360-degree content, the new app will function as the hub where users can view it virtually.
At the time of the launch the app will only be available for Samsung Gear VR. You can download the app through the Oculus site.
With its first release, the app will feature four feeds:
Explore: View the most interesting and popular 360-degree content from media companies, organisations and individual creators.
Following: 360-degree content that friends and pages followed have posted.
Saved: This feed contains all the 360-degree content the users save from the News Feed to watch it any time.
Timeline: This feed will feature all 360-degree photos and videos the users have uploaded.
In the Facebook 360 app, its users can not only react, but also share 360-degree content onto their timelines. The developers are planning to introduce more social features with future updates.
One day prior to the exciting announcement of the Facebook 360 app, news broadcasting giant CNN announced its ‘new immersive journalism unit’ and virtual reality platform within CNN Digital.
With a team based in nine main cities (New York, Atlanta, London, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Dubai, Johannesburg, Tokyo and Beijing) across the world, CNN is hoping to report major news events in 360-degree video. Viewers can experience these 360-degree videos via mobile, desktop and VR headsets.
Click here to read more about the first VR headset released by Sony.
CNN is expecting to create 360-degree videos weekly, and over the past year, it’s claiming to have produced more than 50 news stories in 360-degree video. The organisation also reveals that its 360-degree video content has gained over 30 million views on Facebook.
Are you excited to explore these apps? What kind of content would you share? Let us know in the comments below!