Opinion – How Facebook’s 360 video will affect creative industries

Our founder and CEO Henry Stuart is currently in LA for Oculus Connect 2, this is his reaction to the announcement on Wednesday that Facebook will now support 360 degree video in the news feed.

This is BIG news, something we’ve been waiting for for a while in the industry. With FB’s acquisition of Oculus in 2014 it’s a natural first step for the platform in the move towards making VR a social medium. 360 video on Facebook is going to start on desktop and Android with iOS support to follow at a later date, this means it’s arguably a better distribution platform currently than Google’s YouTube 360 which is restricted to Chrome Browsers, Android and minimal support on iOS.

360 video is still a difficult medium to create content for, however, with new camera technology coming out the consumer creation VR film market is just round the corner. This means we’re going to have user generated content from events all around the world very soon. Leading this charge are devices such as the Rioch Theta who’s latest device, the ’S’ is an incredibly simple to use and lightweight camera that gives surprisingly good results.

Facebook is leading the announcement with content from the likes of Star Wars – 360 videos that are generated from pre-planned routes through scenes in their films. Due to the way modern, CG based blockbusters are built, outputting a 360 video of part of the scene is actually a relatively easy thing to do – in fact it’s a tool being used by the industry already to help visualise different scenes from the character’s POV.

We will be uploading some of our favourite 360 videos from brand activations and other projects over the coming days, we can’t wait to see how a platform as ubiquitous as Facebook is going to help distribute and share the content. This is a big day for our industry and a massive win for our advertising/brand clients wanting to reach more eyeballs with VR content.

This article first appeared in The Drum.

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