18 April 2016

360-degree videos to rule the online world in 2016

If you have ever wanted to feel the adrenaline rush a race car driver goes through, the time has come! Panorama videos are gaining weight in the online video world. And it is only going to get bigger and better in 2016. Called 360-degree videos, these are filmed in complete, 360-degree panorama, using a special camera that combines multiple lenses to create an all-the-way-around effect. By clicking and dragging inside the video, you can swing your view around to any angle you’d like. As long as you’re using a Chrome browser, you can tap and drag to look around. Or, with the YouTube app on an Android device, you can pan by simply moving your phone.

In 2015, YouTube took the plunge to support 360-degree videos and is geared up to add Google Cardboard, stereoscopic 3D and livestreaming, as well this year. Now that’s a move which is going to change the way we watch videos online completely! Good news is that you could create videos like this yourself. If you’ve got a crazy new 360-degree camera like the Ricoh Theta and Kodak SP360 (or the upcoming Giroptic, Bublcam, and Allie) you can now share moments from your life and practice 360-degree storytelling on YouTube.

Social media giant Facebook is not behind too in offering immersive video content to its users. In September last year, it rolled out 360-degree videos that allowed its users to click and rotate moving images in the same way as Google Street View. Even mobile users could explore the scene by spinning with their phone.

What’s left to be seen is the impact these videos have on brand building. After all there are hardly any customers who are not sitting online. And immersive videos are an interesting way of catching their attention! Let’s see how? Viewers get an open-book pass to your brand’s world, and secondly, viewers take an active role in your storytelling experience, whereas traditional videos limit their role to patient observer.

Some of the examples of brands toying with the 360-degree video idea can be seen on Facebook’s 360-degree video hub, including videos from Discovery, GoPro, “Saturday Night Live” and VICE. And the most popular Star Wars clip which offered an unprecedented and futuristic degree of user control.

While the trend of 360-degree videos has picked up well, there is plenty to be seen as VR and Oculus Rift capabilities enter the market this year. So get ready for some incredible experiences while watching online videos in 2016!

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