360 Video is changing the way we immerse ourselves in social media. But now the technology is here for consumers. You can use 360 video in your social media, but there are a few things you need to know first.
What is 360 video?
It’s video that provides an immersive experience by allowing the viewer to see from every angle, in every plane. It’s as if you were in the room or at the location where the video was shot. Unlike the 2 dimensional plane that cameras usually capture video in, 360 degree video requires a special camera that records in a 360 FOV (Field of View).
How can I capture a 360 video?
Currently, there are 4 types of cameras that YouTube supports for its 360 video content:
Ricoh Theta – http://amzn.to/1Mv5mIk (Affiliate link)
Kodak SP360 – http://amzn.to/1M9oVqy (Affiliate link)
Giroptic 360cam – www.giroptic.com/
IC Real Tech Allie – https://icrealtech.com
These 360 video cameras come with a price tag of between $299 to $500.
How can I get my 360 Video online?
1. Upload the video –
YouTube supports uploading and playback of 360 degree spherical videos on computers in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera browsers. In order to upload a 360 degree video file, you’ll need to modify the file with an app or script before uploading.
You can also watch 360 degree videos on YouTube apps for Android and iOS. For an immersive experience, you can even watch 360 degree videos with Google Cardboard and the YouTube Android app. 1. 1,
2. Video Creation
For the best results, encode your video at a high resolution and according to YouTube’s advanced specifications. YouTube currently supports 360 degree videos with 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, or 60 frames per second. It’s been recommended that you upload 16:9 aspect ratio stitched videos in 4K (3840×2160) resolution.
Apart from the above mentioned cameras, 360 degree videos can also be created using custom camera rigs and third party stitching software like Kolor Autopano.
3. Video Preparation
To create a 360-enabled file, your video file needs to include certain metadata for 360 degree playback to be enabled.
Follow these instructions to install an app that will add the necessary metadata into a new file for you:
- Download the 360 Video Metadata app for Mac or Windows
- Un-zip the file, then open the 360 Video Metadata app. If you’re on a Mac, you may need to right-click the app and then click “Open”
- Select the video file
- Click “Inject and save”
- Enter a name for the file that will be created
- Save the file. A new file will be created automatically in the same location as the original file
- Upload the new file to YouTube
- Wait for the 360 degree effect to process. This may take up to an hour.
4. File upload
Before publishing, you can verify that the file has 360 degree playback enabled by checking the video by watching it on your computer. It may take up to an hour for 360 degree playback to be available.
360 degree videos feature a pan button in the top left, and can be rotated using the WASD keys, so look for these features to confirm your video is in 360.
Be sure not to make edits to the video itself using the YouTube Video Editor and Enhancements tools on desktop or mobile apps, as these tools don’t currently support 360 degree videos.
How can I play 360 degree videos?
There are a few ways you can view 360 degree videos. Currently, YouTube and Facebook are the two platforms that currently support 360 video in social media.
You can view them on your desktop browser in YouTube, which supports 360 videos.
You can view 360 videos in YouTube or Facebook (the latest app will have to be installed), and with a smartphone app, like Google Cardboard.
Google Cardboard (Affiliate link) gives you an affordable virtual reality experience, for under $15. Google Cardboard lets you experience virtual reality in a simple and fun way. With Cardboard and the YouTube Android app, you can even watch 360 degree videos for an immersive experience.
Go to the YouTube 360Video house channel by searching for “#360Video” and visiting the channel. You’ll know it’s the right one if it has this avatar:
Click a video on the channel, and start playback and tap the cardboard icon . You’ll notice that the screen splits into two smaller screens
Insert your phone into Cardboard
Look around to view the video in 360 degrees. It reminds me of a Viewmaster from the 70s!
The idea is the same in the content to be produced, the only limit is your imagination, and of course your budget. But there are so many videos being produced by the masses, that with a good thought into the content being produced, the strategy into planning how it will be presented, and a good knowledge of the tools to produce the content, virtually anybody with the right camera can produce it, even without years of education or experience.
Check out YouTube’s #360video channel, with videos YouTube finds as trending in social media. On this channel, here are two examples of brands using 360 video in their social media marketing campaigns:
Here is an example of a brand video for Nescafe, which captures a trip to coffee farm.
In this YouTube video, you can explore the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon with Western River Expeditions and 360 Labs, a 360º VR production company based in Portland, OR. It is a good example of how a tourist attraction uses 360 video to engage and immerse audiences in social media.
Facebook enlisted some prominent partners for its launch, including Star Wars, Discovery, GoPro, Vice, Saturday Night Live and basketball star LeBron James.
Here is an example of how 360 video was used on a celebrity’s fan page – Lebron James.
I was born with God given talent, but I PROMISE you that when the bright lights go down I am grinding it out and working…
On Facebook’s website, viewers will use their mouse to control the video view, while on mobile devices they will either swipe their finger on the touchscreen or physically turn around.
The fact that both YouTube and Facebook are now supporting 360-degree videos is stiff competition for the virtual reality ndustry (VR) filmmakers, as they look for an audience beyond the tiny number of people who own VR headsets.
“Virtual reality now is mobile-first. We’re uploading these in 360 to YouTube, and I’m sure Facebook is going to have an in-app player as well,” VR producer Bryn Mooser told the Guardian in August, as his company released its 360-degree Welcome to Aleppo film, shot in Syria.
“When Facebook is able to show 360-video, anybody with a mobile phone will be able to watch it by moving the phone around them… Headsets aren’t going to be the way it goes: it’s just your phone.”
A few months ago, I uploaded a video to YouTube, where I discuss the 2 billion dollar buyout of Oculus Rift, a company that has designed an innovative virtual headset that is taking the world by storm. A lot of Facebook investors are not so sure this is a good idea.
Facebook was onto something. And the complete video immersion experience will revolutionize how we interact with and consume social media. Have you seen a 360 video that really moved you? Please share in the comments section below, or hop on over to Facebook and join the convo! We’d love to hear from you.