Yesterday, Facebook rolled out support for 360-degree videos on the social network. That is, videos where you are actually in control of the “camera” when looking at the video, with the ability to move around and see things that are happening in the surroundings.
First out, Facebook introduced panoramic videos from Star Wars, Vice, NBC’s Saturday Night Live, LeBron James and GoPro today.
“To create 360 videos, a special set of cameras is used to record all 360 degrees of a scene simultaneously,” explains Facebook’s video engineering director Maher Saba in a blog post.
Here is an example of a 360-degree video from VICE showing everyday life scenes from war-torn Afghanistan:
Front Line Diaries: Afghanistan, 2015“Over 18 months after our withdrawal, there is almost no evidence that we were ever in Afghanistan, let alone that we spent billions of dollars on reconstruction, development and security. Many Afghans look to the future with fear. We didn’t leave because we achieved our goals, we left because we gave up on them.”
Posted by VICE on Wednesday, September 23, 2015
And just last week, Facebook ad product lead Ted Zagat said that Facebook will be mostly video mostly video in ‘a year or two’.
At the same time we are seeing live video formats like Meerkat, Periscope, Facebook LIVE and even YouTube LIVE experimenting with different ways to engage with audiences through live streaming. Just earlier this week I was at the U2 iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour in Stockholm and saw how the band live steamed the song Elevation by inviting a person up on stage from the audience who filmed the whole performance with a smartphone through Meerkat on #U2ieTour.
Video is the future of engagement. And we’re bound to see more examples of ways that people and brands show of the world, without filters, in these new spontaneous and rich video formats.