Full Circle: Facebook Puts 360-Degree Video Into Your News Feed

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By James Eng

Can’t get enough of all the videos rolling through your Facebook News Feed? Pretty soon you’ll be able to watch at least some of them in 360 degrees.

Facebook announced Wednesday it is introducing the new video format in the News Feed, letting you choose the angle from which you want to watch them.

Smartphone displaying 360 video on Facebook.Facebook

Maher Saba, Facebook’s engineering director for video, explains:

On the Web you can do this by dragging around the video with your cursor, and on mobile devices you do it by dragging with your finger — or even just by turning your device. You’ll be able to hold up your phone and the 360 video will follow you as you turn, looking around, to experience things from all over the world like never before.”

Related: Facebook's Instagram Hits 400m Users, Beats Twitter

The new feature is currently being rolled out for Facebook on the Web and on Android. iOS users will get it "in the coming months."

Of course, for now only a select few videos will be viewable in full panorama. That’s because creating 360-degree videos requires a special set of expensive cameras to record all angles of a scene simultaneously.

Among the publishers sharing new 360 videos on Facebook today are Star Wars, Discovery, GoPro, LeBron James & Uninterrupted, NBC’s Saturday Night Live and VICE.

Facebook collaborated with its Oculus virtual-reality division on the new feature.

"We believe in the future of virtual reality, and with 360 video, we hope to unlock new perspectives and immersive storytelling for everybody," Nick Grudin, Facebook’s director of media partnerships, said in a post.