The 2016 NBA Finals are kicking off today in Oakland, CA (home of the Golden State Warriors, who have home-court advantage). Twitter and Samsung, along with the NBA have announced a pretty interesting partnership here. Twitter has sort of added support for 360-degree videos. The NBA will be using Tweet Cards with 360-degree video included, allowing you to click the link and watch the exclusive content in 360-degrees. The three parties haven't said what kind of content we can expect, just that there will be "exclusive content" throughout the best-of-seven series that begins at 9pm EDT tonight at Oracle Arena. All of the content will be shot using the Gear 360 Camera from Samsung.
Twitter hasn't actually added native support for 360-degree video just yet. According to The Verge, Twitter is going to be taking you to another website where you can watch the video in 360-degrees, natively. This means that the NBA isn't really getting anything special with this partnership, other than publicity. As others can already post 360-degree video and have it open in another website or app for you to watch. While Twitter isn't yet natively supporting 360-degree video, we will likely see this come to Twitter in the very near future. Especially if Twitter wants to be a player in 360-degree video and virtual reality. Seeing as all of their competitors (Facebook, YouTube, etc) have already added support for native 360-degree video.
360-degree video has become a rather popular thing as of late. With companies like Samsung and LG putting out their own 360-degree cameras, so that users can actually have something to watch in their virtual reality viewers, like the Samsung Gear VR and the LG 360 VR headset. Ricoh has also put out a few 360-degree cameras, that are priced pretty similar to the offerings of Samsung and LG, although they are said to offer a better experience and quality. 360-degree video makes you feel like you are really there, and Samsung is looking to capitalize on their partnership with the NBA and Twitter by promoting their Gear 360 Camera during the NBA Finals. It's definitely going to get some attention, and it'll be awesome to see what kind of content the NBA publishes.