Video Revolution: 360 Video & VR explained
Is 360 Video & VR for everyone?
It seems not so long ago that video became the big buzz in content marketing circles, as it was widely predicted as the next big thing for content marketers. Fast forward to the present day, and the aim of “going viral” is firmly established in the book of agency clichés. Life in digital marketing moves pretty fast. Fuelled by the rise of videos on Instagram, Vine, Periscope and Snapchat, video can now be found in every content marketers toolkit. The audience wish to get increasingly up close and personal with the action – 360 video and VR hits this campaign aim right on the head.
What is 360 Video & VR?
360 videos are created by filming all 360 degrees of a scene at the same time. Users can view the video from any angle – turn and move the device – the 360-degree video will follow, creating an immersive “virtual reality” type experience.
GoPro are probably one of the best known big brands to have released 360 video content via Facebook, since the social network released the 360 degree video feature via iPhones and iOS devices last November.
(You will need to view these 360 videos in Google browser: Chrome)
Team G&I particularly enjoyed this example of 360 video content, used to immerse the viewer in the Game of Thrones title sequence:
How is 360 video produced?
Our sister agency aardvark 360, shoot beautiful virtual tours in HD quality for our clients. Restaurant, hotel, office or salon – any location based business willing to invite the online audience inside, can display the 360 tour on a Google business listing. This application of VR by brands is one of the most prevalent I have observed so far, however this seems only the tip of the iceberg.
Now there are apps available to shoot 360 video from an iPhone. I have tried Twister and found it fairly easy to use – also Splash has the added bonus of the social community – these apps produce good 360 imagery, considering the basic app is free, plus the content can easily be shared via social media. If you brand wants the next step up, the BubblePix app, accompanied by the BubbleScope lens attachment (£25), comes recommended.
360 via Facebook
Facebook became the second major tech company to launch 360 degree video support, after YouTube introduced the feature in March 2015. Mark Zuckerberg tipped virtual reality as the next big “computing platform” (after smartphones) and says it will become part of normal, everyday life for billions. In 2014, Facebook paid $2 billion (£1.2bn) for Oculus VR, who make the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. Facebook provide clear instructions for uploading 360 video, which can be added to a brand page in the same way as a normal video file. Due to the size of a 360 video file, it will take a little longer to load for the viewer, so marketers must ensure the 360 degree view is worth the watch.
360 Degree Video & VR: When will I be famous?
On the quest for ROI from social media marketing, the target of video content has developed from viral reach, to personal touch and immediacy. Now the functionality and accessibility of this rich media is moving forward once again, and so the aim of marketers has also evolved – now we are driving for immersion. As Gary Vaynerchuk says: “it’s all about attention”. We all know “new” is “news” and as we have not yet seen the crest of the 360 wave, there is a real opportunity for early adopter marketers.
Can we see your business from every angle? Let me know if you are enjoying 360 video content on Twitter @LadyofSocial