In an attempt to provide more immersive content on its news feeds, Facebook has launched the 360-degrees videos feature, which will take users a step closer to virtual reality. Viewers can experience it by moving the cursor on the web or by physically tilting their phones while watching the videos on and Android platform.
The social media giant has released 360-degree video clips created by the special effects team of Lucasfilm, which include scenes from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. There are videos posted by Discovery, GoPro, LeBron James & Uninterrupted, NBC's SaturdayNight Live, and VICE as well.
Presently, the 360-degree view videos are only available on the web and on Android devices and it would take a month for the feature to be supported on the iOS platform. The 360-degree videos are not supported on Safari nor Internet Explorer.
Facebook will soon allow video creators to share their clips post the launch of the short virtual reality videos feature. "In the future, imagine watching 360 videos of a friend's vacation to a small village in France or a festival in Brazil - you'll be able to look around and experience it as if you were there," Facebook said on the FB newsroom. "Along with updates from your friends and family, you will also be able to discover amazing new content on Facebook from media companies, organisations, and individual creators," the blog post read.
Facebook has made rapid progress in virtual reality since buying Oculus VR for £1.3bn ($2bn) last March. Google's YouTube, HTC Vive and Sony's Morpheus headsets are also in the race to build a business around virtual reality.
"Over time the types of stories that people want to tell each other and the types of content they want to share with each other will get richer and more immersive," Facebook's VP of product Will Cathcart told Wired. "So just as we've seen an evolution from text to photos, we're seeing a pretty big jump to video in the last couple of years. We think that's only going to continue," he added.