Facebook have announced the introduction of Facebook Live 360 degree video, with the first published 360 Live stream scheduled to be broadcast on the National Geographic Facebook page at 20:00 Greenwich Mean Time.
Yesterday, in a post on Facebook Media Centre, the launch of Live 360 was announced by product manager Supratik Lahiri and software engineer Chetan Gupta. The announcement brings the social networking giant into the running for what is likely to be the next big thing in social media development. YouTube recently rolled out 4K 360 live broadcasting – so it’s unsurprising to see Facebook aren’t far behind.
Unlike YouTube, Facebook’s attempts appear to more user-friendly. While all users are currently able to stream in 360 on YouTube to do so requires special encoder software. Facebook look set to make 360 live broadcasting easily accessible to normal profiles from a mobile device without the need of access to external software. The function will be rolled out to Facebook’s Live API next year before being rolled out to pages and users over time.
As yet users are currently unable to view Live 360 videos through VR headsets, however replays can be viewed through them. According to Techcrunch there is currently no support for 4K resolution – but this is something that Facebook is considering.
The first Facebook Live 360 broadcast
According to Facebook the first Live 360 broadcast will come direct from the Mars Desert Research Station facility in Utah on the National Geographic Facebook page at 12pm PT (20:00 GMT). This is how Facebook describes the feature and the aims of the stream:
“We’re excited to combine these two formats with Live 360 video. Live 360 transports people into new experiences – right as they happen… People around the world will be able to discover and explore this video on Facebook.”