Facebook today began rolling out 360-degree viewing at the leading social network, letting people change their perspectives in specially created videos.
"We've seen that people enjoy more immersive content in their News Feeds," video engineering director Maher Saba said in a blog post. "We're excited to take it a step further with 360-degree video."
Synched rings cameras are used to capture video in a way that lets viewers virtually look around as if they are in the middle of a scene. In desktop computer browsers, changing angles can be done using on-screen cursors. On mobile devices, shifting perspectives can be done by dragging fingers or just turning handsets, according to Saba.
"You'll be able to hold up your phone and the 360-degree video will follow you as you turn, looking around, to experience things from all over the world like never before," Saba said. Publishers sharing 360-degree video at launch included GoPro, Discovery, and Saturday Night Live, according to Facebook.
Disney and Lucasfilm will debut a 360-degree video focused on its upcoming film "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," Saba said.
The immersive new feature being added to News Feed was being rolled out to Web browser and mobile devices powered by Google-backed Android operating systems. Facebook planned to get it onto hardware powered by Apple iOS software "in the coming months."