Last week Facebook announced several updates to its 360-degree News Feed video offering, including the newly established compatibility with both iPhone and iPad. Facebook first introduced the ability to share and view 360-degree video within the News Feed on desktop and Android platforms in September, but limited distribution has prevented the widespread adoption of the format – until now.
With 360-degree video now available on iOS, Android and the web, the immersive content experience that closely resembles virtual reality will be accessible to the majority of the population without the need for a VR headset. Users can navigate the 360-degree videos, which are filmed using special video equipment, by clicking and dragging across the screen. Mobile users can also navigate the virtual landscapes by tilting their devices. By combining 360-degree videography with an interactive user interface, these videos offer an intense level of engagement in which users can feel as though they are experiencing exciting moments and far-off destinations first-hand.
While publishing capabilities are available to all users, Facebook plans to monetize the new format through interactive 360-degree advertisements. The social media giant has begun testing 360-degree video ads with a handful of brands including AT&T, Samsung, Disney, and Nestle. With a plethora of use cases, from movie trailers to promotions for the 360-degree video equipment itself, many brands will be eager to test this new format in the coming months.
Marketers should keep a close eye on the performance of 360-degree video content on Facebook, as well as on YouTube where the format has been supported on Google Chrome and the YouTube app for iOS and Android since March. Standard video has proven to be one of the most effective advertising formats over the past few years; if 360-degree videos can demonstrate similar success, brands and publishers alike will be clamoring to capitalize on the trendy new format.
Just Media, Inc.