360 Degree Videos are now Live on Twitter and Facebook

Horizontal iPhone displaying a 360 degree Facebook Live video

For over a decade there has been a steady supply of new social  platforms fighting to corner the market and reign supreme over the rest. Whether it’s a trendy new tech company, or one of the original players such as Facebook, coming up with unique offerings creates constant excitement in the market. Video is the latest feature dominating news feeds. On Facebook alone, videos are being viewed 8 billion times a day. Although video by itself is not new or innovative, there are various platforms that are now supporting 360-degree video capabilities.

YouTube continues to be the dominant platform for video and started the trend for 360-degree video in March 2015.  Facebook and Twitter were not far behind with launches of 360 support debuting a year later.  Facebook Live 360 launched mid-December which was an addition to Facebook Live. Facebook Live 360 premiered with a live interactive feed on National Geographic’s Facebook page from the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah.  The 360 video featured eight scientists coming out of isolation after 80 days spent in simulated Mars-like conditions.  Facebook Live 360 allows viewers to watch a live streaming video, while also giving them the ability to turn their phone or scroll their finger to look in any direction. Facebook is currently paying media partners to use the platform and broadcast to users. Facebook stated that over the next few months more pages will be selected to get the feature, but won’t be available to all users until later this year.

Twitter felt the pressure from Facebook Live 360 which led them to launch 360-degree video live streaming on Periscope two weeks after the feature launched on Facebook. While anyone can watch “#Periscope360,” only select partners are able to stream in 360. Even if a Twitter user has not downloaded the Periscope app, they will still see Periscope broadcasts in their timelines. By adding this feature, Twitter is hoping to not only remain competitive, but keep users within the platform instead of sharing Facebook or YouTube links.   

360 Videos are  becoming a fundamental part of sharing on social networks. Adding a live component to the already innovative 360 video capabilities creates a new way for  users to engage and share content.