Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a 360 degree video and it BLEW. MY. MIND.
I am currently studying part time for a degree and I’m sure that many of you can relate to the fact that when coursework is involved, I tend to procrastinate. The most recent bout had me stumble across these 360 degree videos and, well, they are stunning. Oh and if my tutor is reading this, I did try to incorporate them into my internationalisation strategy following a merger, but it didn’t work out. Honest.
Mark Zuckerberg first peaked our interest in ‘spherical videos’ in 2014 with the purchase of the company Oculus VR, a company behind the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, and again in March of this year at a public Q&A forum. You may have seen similar videos on YouTube, but Zuckerberg has taken the bull by the horns, only 6 months later, introducing the videos to Facebook’s newsfeed platforms in September. In November, Facebook doubled down on these by adding support for iOS devices whilst opening up the format to brands and those who want to experiment with a dedicated website offering tips, FAQs and other guidelines to create your own 360 degree video. It’s clear the future of Facebook includes more than sharing posts. I know what you’re thinking, I’ve been reading for about 3 minutes, when are you going to tell me what’s so great about these videos? First, patience. Second, right now.
So unlike regular videos, 360 degree clips require specially-designed cameras that allow the user to capture a full view of the scene around them. You can touch the screen and drag your finger (or curser, if viewing in a browser) left, right, up or down to change the view of your video or by holding up your smartphone at a different angle giving an all-encompassing ‘’virtual reality’’ type experience on everything from the African rainforest to Scuba diving in Taiwan.
It’s not just Facebook who is seeing potential in these 360 degree videos however; Foals released their music video for ‘Mountain At My Gates’ on 29 July of this year using GoPro.
Even the ex ‘Stig’, Ben Collins, is getting involved with his virtual reality drive in the BMW 6 Series.
Our PR agency HPS Jardine recently released our first 360 degree Facebook video for our client PlayStation and the GT Academy. This was in anticipation of the Abu Dhabi GP and was filmed in the Nissan GT-R at Yas Marina from GT Academy Race Camp.