Virtual reality. It’s making industry headlines and we’ve all heard the buzz. Coined as the “next wave” of emerging technology, Web 3.0, and the burgeoning of immersive digital content, virtual reality is the next driving force in changing the way we consume and interact with media.
Many industry-leading brands are already looking into innovative ways to capitalize on this new media trend. The number one challenge with VR is that the cost of content creation will be difficult to justify until the industry matures and we see market adoption. With market adoption comes advertising dollars, which will lead to the funding of quality Virtual Reality content.
Should your brand start creating Virtual Reality content? Not quite yet.
With Virtual Reality still in the infancy stage, and with limited disruption channels available to reach the masses, you may want to hold off on investing in developing VR content. The industry is growing quickly, but before we can walk (Virtual Reality) we have to crawl (360° videos).
Should your brand invest in creating 360° video content? Absolutely and here’s why.
Brands are becoming media companies, and many of them, such as Facebook, have recognized there’s a need and they are already making moves to solve for it. The good news for marketers is that Facebook’s leading the charge on 360° content distribution, which opens the door for 1.5 billion people to be able to experience your branded 360° video.
In late 2015, Facebook introduced 360° videos ads which allows users to consume immersive video content at all angles. Although Cinematic VR and 360° videos are slightly different, they share core similarities that bring the two types of content and user experiences together. As Facebook ramps up to launch the full advertising stack, it’s important for marketers to not only understand the fundamentals, but also start testing the waters so they know how to ride the wave when the time comes.
Creating Facebook 360° Videos Ads
360° videos are created with a camera system that simultaneously records all 360 degrees of a scene. Viewers can pan and rotate a 360° video’s perspective to watch it from different angles.
- Facebook announced that they have established partnerships with several camera makers, likeTheta, Giroptic, and IC Real Tech, which will provide the ability to publish to Facebook directly from the app. Videos taken with these cameras will be shareable directly from the native mobile apps. Recommended Upload:
File Size: 1.75GB
File Length: 10 minutes maximum
File Type: MP4 container
Video Codec: H.264 Video (maximum of 60fpx; recommended 20mbps for 30fps of mono footage & 30mbps for 60fps of mono footage.)
Audio Codec: MP3 or AAC audio
Resolution: As high as possible with max 4k input (4096 x 2048)
Dimensions: 2:1 Display aspect ratio
Experiencing Facebook 360° Video Ads:
As the video plays, users can turn their device or drag their finger to move around within the video and explore any and every angle.
- 360° Videos show up on user News Feeds and feature a special icon that indicates interactivity.
- For a fully immersive experience, Facebook provides the option to connect to a Samsung Gear VR to watch 360° videos in full gear.
- As of current, this feature is supported in the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox, but not in Safari and Internet Explorer.
- If using an iOS device, it should be an iPhone 4S or newer or an iPad 2 or newer. The iOS device also should be running iOS 7 or later. If using an Android device, it should be Android 4.3 or later.
In the meantime…
As we patiently wait for Facebook to release the flood gates, there is plenty to learn about the art of capturing and creating 360° video content and how to build this type of content into your larger VR marketing plan. The sky is virtually the limit, so we hope your creative juices are flowing. Have ideas or questions? Comment below!