Facebook Live 360 Streaming is now available to all users of the largest social network on the planet, provided they have the necessary hardware. Support for 360-degree video broadcasting was already introduced by the company in late 2016 but was only available to select Facebook Pages with a large number of followers. Following that limited beta period, the functionality is now available to all Facebook Profiles and Pages with access to a device like the Insta360 Air for Android smartphones, Nokia OZO, or the newly announced revision of Samsung's Gear 360 camera.
With the introduction of this new functionality, users are now able to stream 360-degree videos for up to four hours in FullHD (1920 x 1080) resolution at 30 frames per second. Facebook's Live 360 platform also supports streaming of spatial audio but a camera with native support for that feature has yet to hit the market, even though the social media giants said ambisonic microphones can already be used for that purpose. As expected, users who hope to stream 360 videos will need access to a reliable Internet connection that shouldn't be slower than 4Mbps. The platform itself is available directly within the main Facebook app and can also be accessed through the company's website in case you have a camera that doesn't (yet) feature native support for this functionality.
The expanded availability of Facebook Live 360 Streaming marks yet another step in Facebook's online video push that started several years ago. Numerous representatives of the Menlo Park-based tech giant previously expressed a belief that video content is the future of the Internet that will outshine all other formats, noting how Facebook is adamant to be a major part of that future. The company's video-related efforts have also recently seen it start investing in original content that's set to debut on its emerging video platform meant to rival YouTube. As Facebook continues committing more resources to its growing video ambitions, the company will likely debut new ways of streaming and watching live content in the future, possibly even this spring seeing how the Facebook-hosted F8 developer conference is just around the corner, though it remains to be seen whether its prediction of a video-oriented online future comes true.