Facebook has introduced Live 360 videos for its platform, a format that combines Live videos and 360 degree videos. The social media giant will roll out Live 360 videos on December 13 at 12PM PT/ 3PM ET with National Geographic. The video will be streamed live from the Mars Desert Research Station facility in Utah.
“Live video on Facebook gives people an immediate, authentic window into what’s happening in the world right now; 360 video immerses viewers fully into the scene, letting them explore on their own and experience a new environment. We’re excited to combine these two formats with Live 360 video,” said Supratik Lahiri, Product Manager and Chetan Gupta, Software Engineer, Facebook in a blogpost.
Lahiri and Gupta explained that the National Geographic Live 360 video will show seven space scientists emerge from their pods after 80 days. The scientists were part of a simulation exercise for life on Mars. “They will take you behind the scenes to explore the living quarters, see how the scientists suit up in their space suits, and take a rover out for a spin across the Martian landscape,” the blogpost reads. There will be Q&A with science experts as well.
Facebook will roll out Live 360 video to more Pages via Live API in the coming months. It will be available more broadly for all Pages and Profiles in 2017.
Facebook Live videos was launched last year. The social media giant rolled out its Live button for Android and iOS users in India in August. Users can broadcast Live videos on Facebook for up to four hours and view them both full-screen and video-only mode. Facebook’s 360 degree videos on mobile made its way to India in November last year. The feature allows users to watch videos shot in 360-degree from a number of different angles.
Facebook is pushing videos as the next big thing. Facebook-owned Instagram has started to roll out its live-streaming feature to iOS and Android smartphone users. In November, Instagram introduced a live video feature to select users. Now, the feature has gone live for everyone in the US. According to Instagram, Live video “will be rolling out globally over the next few weeks”.