Facebook at the beginning of 2016 added Live video streaming to the platform which gradually rolled out to everyone. The company also added support for 360 degree videos to its app. Now, Facebook has combined the two features into one - Facebook Live 360 videos. In separate news, Instagram has started rolling out Live videos on Stories to all users in the US.
The social network on Monday introduced 360 degree Facebook Live videos. It will be available to Pages via the Live API in the coming months. Facebook also confirmed that the Live 360 videos will be rolling out broadly for all Pages and Profiles in 2017.
The company has tied-up with National Geographic to debut the new Live 360 video on Facebook. The first Live 360 video from National Geographic will show seven space scientists from around the world living in pods simulating every aspect of life on Mars, including total isolation from humanity. Facebook confirms that the Live 360 video will also include Q&A sessions where a line-up of science experts, writers and thinkers will take questions from the Facebook audience.
"Live video on Facebook gives people an immediate, authentic window into what's happening in the world right now; 360 video immerses viewers fully into the scene, letting them explore on their own and experience a new environment. We're excited to combine these two formats with Live 360 video. Live 360 transports people into new experiences-right as they happen," Supratik Lahiri, Product Manager and Chetan Gupta, Software Engineer, wrote in an announcement post.
In the meanwhile, Facebook is slowly rolling out a lightweight Web version of Moments, visible on the left pane of Facebook.com. The Web version doesn't let users add photos, only view photos that you or your contacts have shared. To add photos, users must download the Android or iOS apps.
Instagram, on the other hand, has started rolling out Live video feature on Stories page to all users in the US. Initially announced in November, the Live video on Stories lets users go live by just swiping right from feed to open the camera and tapping the "Start Live Video" button. The Live Video on Instagram Stories disappears from the app as soon as a user is done with the Live video.