Facebook working on a standalone video app supporting 360 degree spherical videos and also prepping to bring VR to mobile phones, according to a recent report by the WSJ. People familiar with the matter said that the app would let users to change their perspective in the video by simply panning and tilting their smartphones.
This isn’t anything revolutionary because earlier this year, YouTube unleashed its own 360 degree videos. It even has a dedicated channel for those videos, which now has more than 418,000 subscribers.
Facebook working on a standalone video app supporting 360 degree spherical videos and as conceived, it would work on multiple platforms including Android and iOS. Development of the app is in early stages and it is not clear when or if the app will be launched or not.
Actually, this wouldn’t be really VR because it will offer less immersive experience than a headset. However, they could be building Oculus Rift version supporting mobile devices, similar to the Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR.
Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO has repeatedly called VR the next “computing platform” after mobile devices. Last year, the social media giant acquired Oculus VR for whooping $2 billion and it has sparked interest and investment in this field.
Earlier this year in March, Zuckerberg said Facebook would support spherical video in its news feed, which will let users “move around inside the video and view it from different angles.”
Will this app help Facebook in any way?
Facebook working on a standalone video app supporting 360 degree spherical videos would help the social media giant to extend its presence in VR beyond Oculus and introduce it to a much larger audience. Till now, Facebook has not disclosed anything officially and has declined to comment on the rumors.