As Facebook's representatives stated on multiple occasions, video content is the future of the Internet, at least as far commercial use is concerned. Due to that belief, the Menlo Park-based social media giant has recently been hard at work introducing a broad range of features designed to offer its users new ways to create and consume video content on Facebook. Facebook Live Video has been an important part of this strategy, and the company has been pushing hard to promote the said broadcasting feature to people frequenting its social network. Today, Facebook's Product Manager Supratik Lahiri and Software Engineer Chetan Gupta announced another important step in this endeavor - Live 360.
As the name suggests, this feature will bring support for 360-degree videos to Facebook Live. The company announced that more Facebook pages will get access to Live 360 content over the course of the next few months, while all pages and profiles will get to utilize this feature by early 2017. Now, as for more immediate news, Facebook will showcase Live 360 tomorrow in collaboration with National Geographic. More specifically, we'll be able to watch a 360-degree stream of the Mars Desert Research Station in Hanksville, Utah. Over the last two and a half months, eight scientists lived in pods located in this facility designed to simulate life on Mars. Tomorrow, December 13th, these experts will emerge from their pods after 80 days spent in isolation, and National Geographic will be there to interview them and survey their former quarters. In addition to that, Facebook viewers will be able to ask questions that the TV crew will then forward to the interviewees.
Now, this isn't the first time Facebook implemented a 360 video feature into its omnipresent social network. This type of content debuted on Facebook with a unique Star Wars trailer back in September of 2015, and since then, the company also debuted 360-degree videos for Instant Articles, while 360-degree photos support rolled out last June. All in all, this is yet another step in Facebook's long-term strategy to put video content in the center of its social network and more similar features will likely be introduced shortly. As for Live 360, more information regarding an official rollout is expected to follow soon. If you're interested in following the National Geographic's experimental 360-degree broadcast tomorrow, it's scheduled to start at 12pm PST (3pm EST).