Last week, Facebook announced updates to Live 360, its video feature which immerses viewers into a scene, giving them the opportunity to explore and experience new environments virtually.
The new updates, which include Live 360 Ready Programme, 4K Resolution, Donate Buttons, Scheduled Live and Post-Live Experience, will improve and simplify the Live 360 experience for both creators and audiences.
The Product Manager for 360 Video/Live 360 at Facebook, Chetan Gupta, and Product Marketing Manager at Facebook, Caitlin Ramrakha, in a joint announcement of the development said, “Since rolling out Live 360 to all pages and profiles in March, we have seen incredible uses of the medium. People have shared moments like weddings and vacations with their friends, and publishers as well as creators have immersed audiences in unique experiences, like going behind the scenes at a sports team’s warm-up or on stage with a band during a show.” Here are the five new features:
Live 360 Ready Programme
This is an array of third-party 360 cameras and software solutions, vetted by the Facebook team, that provides great Live 360 experiences on the platform. The Live 360 Ready Programme includes 10 cameras and seven software suites that span a wide range of options, whether you simply want to go live via your phone to share personal moments, or you are a professional publisher who needs robust camera and software solutions to pull off a complex production.
Each camera’s app or web experience will enable you to interact with your friends and followers through direct access to Facebook’s native reactions and comments. You will be able to recognise Live 360 Ready cameras and software offerings by the Facebook Live logo on their packaging or website. The current list of Live 360 Ready cameras and software includes:
Cameras: Giroptic iO, Insta360 Nano, Insta360 Air, Insta360 Pro, ION360 U, Motorola (to be added at 11.30am ET], Nokia Ozo, Z CAM S1, 360Fly HD, 360Fly 4K, and 360Fly 4K Pro
Software: Assimilate SCRATCH VR, Groovy Gecko, LiveScale, Teradek, Voysys, Wowza, Z CAM WonderLive
Camera or software companies could visit Facebook websites to learn more and download information about joining the Live 360 Ready Programme.
4K Support and Watch in VR
Facebook now supports up to 4K resolution for Live 360 streams, meaning viewers can enjoy Live 360 moments in much higher fidelity. And for the first time, viewers will soon be able to enjoy Live 360 videos streamed at 4K in VR. Live 360 broadcasts will be available to watch in VR — both while they’re happening and after they’re over — in the free Facebook 360 app for Gear VR, available on the Oculus Store. Facebook is said to be excited to see the great moment subscribers share in 4K with Live 360, and how their friends and followers experience the moments in fully immersive VR.
Donate Buttons with Live 360 and Scheduled Live
Facebook is also bringing two popular Facebook Live features to Live 360: Donate Buttons and Scheduled Live, both of which can be added to broadcasts through its Live API.
With donate buttons, verified pages can raise funds for a United States-based 501(c)(3) non-profit when they stream in Live 360, or a non-profit can add a donate button to their own Live 360 broadcast to encourage viewers to support their cause.
On Scheduling a Facebook Live broadcast makes people to know when to tune in and helps your broadcast get off to a strong start with the audience already in place. With Scheduled Live — now available to Live 360 broadcasts via the Live API or Facebook’s live streaming tools — you can let your followers know the exact date and time your Live 360 broadcast will be. An announcement post will be published on News Feed, enabling your fans to opt in to a one-time reminder notification that will alert them when you are about to go live. We hope this scheduling ability helps you build buzz and anticipation for your Live 360 moments!
To learn more about adding the donate button to Live 360 or setting up a Scheduled Live 360, subscribers can visit www.facebook360.fb.com/live360 to download Live 360 getting started guide.
To ensure that the great experience of watching Live 360 continues even after you have stopped streaming, Facebook is also adding stabilisation to Live 360 for profiles when its algorithm detects that a broadcast may be a little shaky.
Once you have finished a Live 360 broadcast, you can also use Facebook’s Guide tool to direct viewers to the most important parts of your broadcast. The tool allows you to set up points of interest throughout your broadcast and auto-direct the field of view to those points of interest. You can access 360 Guide through your 360 Controls tab once you ‘Edit’ your video.
To understand the points of greatest interest in your Live 360 broadcast, you may want to refer to Heatmap, Facebook’s tool to help you understand which parts of your video your audience engaged with the most. You can access Heatmaps (for broadcasts with at least 20,000 unique active viewers) from the Page Insights surface.
Lastly, you can cross-post your Live 360 broadcast once it’s over to help get even more distribution.