Facebook claims that since rolling out support for 360-degree videos in 2015 more than 1m immersive videos and 25m 360-degree photos have been published by the users. To help people better navigate this content it has designed what it’s calling a ‘one-stop shop’ to let Facebooker’s catch up on 360-degree posts they may have missed from friends and pages they follow.
The app isn’t a full version of the social network. It’ll show 360-degree photos and videos from your feed and timeline, as well as a more general feed of the media companies and selected individuals, and anything you have saved from the News Feed on desktop or mobile. You will be able to post reactions to videos and share the videos themselves to Facebook, and more social features supposed to be coming soon.
At launch, this app will feature four sections: Explore, where you can discover new videos; Following, which lets you see any content posted by your Facebook friends and pages you follow; Saved, for the 360 videos you’ve bookmarked in your News Feed; and Timeline, which lets you relive your own 360 uploads.
Users can easily download the Facebook 360 app via the Oculus site or through the Oculus app on Gear VR compatible Samsung devices.
Additionally, the company promised that more than 70 controller-compatible titles are on the way for the Gear VR. While Facebook did not specifically say whether the controller can be used with its 360 app, presumably it’ll be one of the first to showcase the new feature. Currently, the Samsung Gear VR is only compatible with the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, and Galaxy Note 5 phones.
Nescafé and more recently Universal Pictures have been among the brands to run ads in Facebook’s 360-degree format. The latter used platform to promote 50 Shades Darker, and placing viewers in a grand ballroom featured in the movie alongside main character Christian Grey.