Facebook has announced a number of new features are coming to its Live 360 video platform to offer an improved 360 degree-viewing and hosting experience.
First and foremost, Facebook is launching a Live 360 Ready Program, which is an assortment of third-party 360 cameras and software solutions that provide strong Live 360 experiences, as vetted by Facebook engineers. So far, the Live 360 Ready Program includes 11 cameras (such as the Giroptic iO and the Nokia Ozo) and seven software suites (including the WonderLive and the LiveScale).
These cameras and software offerings will be marked with a Facebook Live logo on either their packaging or on product websites (more information can be found here). Facebook says it will also be showing off these tools in a series of ‘Live 360 moments’ around the world between July 28th and 30th. Those can be viewed here.
Facebook is also adding support for 4K video in Live 360 streams on both the base Facebook platform and through virtual reality. To take advantage of 4K VR, users will need to have a Samsung Gear VR, which is powered by Facebook’s Oculus technology, as well as download the free Facebook 360 app for Gear VR.
An option to allow viewers to donate money to charitable groups has also been added. Verified Pages will be able to raise funds for a U.S.-based nonprofit organization when streaming in Live 360. Likewise, a nonprofit that has its own page and Live 360 broadcast can also add a donate button to encourage viewers to support their causes. As of now, it’s unclear if this feature will be expanded on in the future to include support for non-profits outside of the U.S., such as those in Canada.
Finally, Facebook is adding a number of tools to help Live 360 streamers better manage their content, including:
- The ability to schedule streams — a post will be made to the respective Facebook page to notify followers, who can then opt-in to be reminded right before the video goes live.
- Stabilization — Facebook’s algorithm will detect moments in a stream where the connection was spotty; the host can then use the Guide tool to mark “points of interest” that may have been missed and those watching the video after it has gone live will be directed to these particular highlighted segments.
- Crossposting — streamers will be able to share a broadcast between multiple Pages to help increase exposure