As 360 becomes more popular (and accessible), CNN is dedicating a team to covering news in virtual reality.
The third-largest mobile VR app isn’t a social media or video platform — it’s a news outlet. On Wednesday, CNN launched CNNVR, a new journalism platform dedicated to virtual reality.
The new platform will bring virtual video coverage, including some live coverage, on major events worldwide to smartphones, computers, and VR headsets. The news outlets apps are both updating to accommodate the new immersive content. According to CNN, that makes it the third-largest VR app behind Facebook and YouTube.
The 360 news videos will also be a part of CNN.com/VR as well as reaching the 5 million users on Samsung GearVR, Oculus Rift, and Google Daydream headsets.
The new platform comes after several years of testing the capabilities of 360 in journalism, including a 360 view from the front row of Donald Trump’s January 2017 inauguration as president of the United States. With over 50 stories, the videos tallied up over 30 million views just on Facebook.
CNN says the VR team will be covering events worldwide, with offices in New York, Atlanta, London, Hong Kong, San Fransisco, Dubai, Johannesburg, Tokyo, and Beijing.
CNNVR launched yesterday with an immersive view of the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. The coverage included views of the run (from safely above) as well as interviews.
“Today, this new dedicated team is committed to harnessing the power of virtual reality to transport our audience inside the stories we tell all around the globe,” CNN’s announcement reads. “Whenever news breaks, and wherever amazing stories unfold, CNNVR will transport our audience closer than ever before and on every device available.”
The new division comes after opening a dedicated drone division last August that started with two full-time drone operators for getting aerial shots at news events.