25 million 360-degrees photos strong, Facebook decides VR content needs a new home with this app.
Facebook is now home to over 25 million 360-degree photos and a million immersive videos — and now, they’re available in their own headset app. Today, the social media giant launched Facebook 360, an app for the Samsung Gear VR and other Gear VR-compatible goggles.
The Oculus-powered app isn’t the typical newsfeed in a new format, it’s a new home for the 360 content that’s already on Facebook (and that is being added to Facebook daily). The headset-based app has four separate feeds — one is for the content from friends and pages that you follow. Another stores saved content, making it easier to find videos you see on your smartphone for goggle viewing later. An “explore” feed will display the most popular content, while a timeline option will host your own 360 content.
While the app is separate from Facebook feeds, users will find the same reactions for content, as well as the ability to share (and shares will appear on the usual newsfeed, not just in front of other goggle-owning friends). The reaction options as well as the photo or video’s details can be pulled up while immersed in the view, Facebook says.
Facebook 360, available to download from the Oculus app, is currently only available on Samsung Gear VR and Gear VR-compatible headsets. Facebook says it hopes to bring the dedicated app to additional headsets in the future, and it will continue to add social features and improve the overall experience.
Facebook videos were previously accessible inside the headsets with the Oculus Video app, but the new app both separates and organizes the content into its own platform. While 360 is still growing, particularly on a consumer level, the four separate feeds should prove to provide a good amount of immersive content, particularly with the “explore” feed.
The announcement comes on the heels of a new streaming app to bring Facebook videos to TVs with the likes of Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV. With this content now on bigger screens and VR goggles, Facebook appears to be making good on its stated intention to place a priority on video.