- Facebook announced in a blog post today that it's launching Live 360 video on Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 3 p.m. ET. Live 360 video will be available to more Pages via the Live API in the coming months and will roll out more broadly for all Pages and Profiles in 2017.
- The new video format combines the immediacy and authenticity of live streaming with the immersive and self-exploratory nature of 360-degree video.
- National Geographic is the launch partner, with people around the world able to explore a live video stream as eight space scientists emerge from pods simulating life on Mars.
Facebook Live 360 is the company’s next iteration of a bigger push into video that is driving excitement and views for the platform. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said back in July that the company sees video at the heart of all of its apps and services, pointing to the success of Facebook Live and the 160 million views for Candace Payne’s Chewbacca Mask video.
However, the video ramp up has not been without difficulties. The social media giant revealed in September that it has been overstating video ad views by anywhere from 60% to 80% for two years, news that caught marketers and industry groups off guard.
Despite Facebook’s ongoing issues with metrics, the new feature is likely to be popular with consumers and, by extension, marketers, because of how it brings together two of the biggest trends in viewing — demands for authenticity and interactivity. Viewers of the National Geographic Live 360 video will be able to explore the living quarters of eight scientists from around the world who have lived in pods simulating life on Mars for the past 80 days. They will also see how the scientists get into the space suits, take a rover out and ask questions of experts.
Live 360 videos joins Caffe2Go as another example of how Facebook is attempting to bring state-of-the-art imaging capabilities and experiences to users. Caffe2Go is an artificial intelligence platform that can reconfigure smartphone images and videos to look like an artist’s work in real-time.
Facebook is also bolstering its virtual reality prowess as another way to strengthen its video foothold.