Facebook 360 Video: The Low-Down
Have you pressed play on an over-hyped video on Facebook recently?
Well if you failed to inch left, right, up, or down, you would have missed the amazement of Facebook 360 Video.
This is new(ish) technology to us digital marketing folk, and we’re getting super excited about it like the rest of you, but before we can even start scripting out creatives for this technology, I want to get down to the thick of it..what is it exactly?
To the window, to the wall, I’m going to give you the low, low, low-down.
THE BASIC BACKGROUND
The technology for amateur 360-degree video actually surfaced around late 2011-2012 (See: the BubbleScope), but popularity and appreciation weren’t apparent until Facebook worked out how to playback these videos back in March 2015.
Since then, it’s not user videos that we’re seeing more and more of, it’s beautifully produced ad campaigns by huge companies like Walt Disney, Samsung, AT & T, and Tourism Australia.
This is why we’re excited, it’s no longer a mere novelty, it’s making waves in digital marketing.
Picture yourself here, soaking up the sunshine at Whitehaven Beach in Visit Whitsundays, Queensland, Australia
So how does it work…?
A 360-degree video is recorded on a device that can capture imagery from all angles simultaneously.
The video is then edited, jazzed-up, and uploaded onto a web-based platform such as Facebook and YouTube, for your easy-breezy viewing pleasure.
Well, maybe not ‘easy’ for everyone.
If your mobile or computer is lacking it’s latest update of Chrome, Firefox, iOS, Android, or Facebook, viewing these videos may be difficult…or you know – impossible.
Currently, viewers of these videos can pan, rotate and zoom-in on the footage before them.
The other, very important, thing you’re going to need when viewing these videos is either a 4G connection or super fast WiFi.
These videos are big, like real big, like so big that if we were all still using dial-up, it would probably take 3 months to download. Not even kidding.
THE BASIC BREAKDOWN
Stop aiming for the bin and put the GoPro down. It’s no 3310 and it’s not obsolete – yet.
If you’re inspired by this Facebook 360 video technology, there are a few devices already on the market that will help get you started.
Kodak, Giroptic, IC Real Tech and Ricoh Theta have contenders in the market that you can add to your cart for approximately AU$400.
To arrange and optimize your cuts of 360-degree footage you are going to need a program that allows you to produce something amazing.
I’ve done some hunting around so you don’t have to, and it seems that the current big players in the 360-degree-video-editing-application market seem to be GoPro’s Kolar and Google’s Cardboard.
Like anything new in tech, there are undoubtedly updates and new products in the works that we don’t know about yet, and who knows…this 360-degree video stuff could just be a fad that we all get over?
Until then, we’re just going to test, explore, and enjoy the moment.