Virtual reality is a hot topic right now in both media and technology. It’s no surprise that social media giant, Facebook, is leading the pack with its purchase of the virtual reality company, Oculus, back in March of 2014. The first products of this acquisition are now being seen with the emergence of 360 degree video. As of last month, Facebook users will be able to experience 360 degree videos in their news feed.
With 360 degree video, the user controls the perspective. On desktop, the viewer simply needs to click around the screen to change their viewpoint. On mobile, it is even easier; the user simply moves their phone in space to change their view. As part of the rollout, Facebook deployed a series of 360 degree videos featuring a limited, but eclectic, array of content that included: Star Wars, Lebron Jame’s workout, and underwater shark explorations.
For those who have already invested in a VR headset like Playstation VR or received an early release of the Oculus Rift (a consumer model is scheduled to hit markets this Spring) they can upload Facebook via these devices for a full, immersive effect.
Facebook’s bold move into the VR space provides strong implications for what lies ahead and strengthens Facebook’s position as the true leader in the ever-evolving social media landscape. Facebook is actively investing in the future, with their fearless leader, CEO Mark Zuckerberg, leading the charge. Zuckerberg has even alluded to the fact that immersive video and virtual reality are the future of how we will consume media. While Facebook does a good job at refining and developing features that users already know, this feature will give users a new visual form to explore- one that they didn’t know, but may grow to love.