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Twitter Hires AngelHack Founder for Virtual Reality Initiative (EXCLUSIVE)

Twitter has hired AngelHack founder Gregory Gopman to work on its nascent virtual reality (VR) initiative, Variety has learned. The company may add native 360-degree video integration as well as 360-degree video live streaming to its products in the coming months.

A Twitter spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Gopman, who started as VR Program Manager at Twitter this month, most recently worked for UploadVR, a Bay Area-based VR news site, events producer and co-working space. Previously, he was the founder and CEO of AngelHack, a company that has been organizing corporate hackathons for companies like Comcast, Hasbro and Hearst, at one point staging more than 100 hackathons per year.

Twitter first toyed with the idea of 360-degree videos in June, striking a partnership with Samsung and the NBA to distribute such videos of the NBA finals via the service. However, the partnership didn’t actually lead to a native integration of 360-degree videos on Twitter. Instead, users had to click through to Samsung’s website to watch the videos in question.

Since then, Twitter has made some moves to more wholeheartedly embrace 360-degree videos and virtual reality. At the end of June, Twitter hired former Apple designer Alessandro Sabatelli as director of AR&VR. And the company is currently hiring for an AR & VR team that’s supposed to develop “the next generation of live product experiences.”

Some of this will undoubtedly involve 360-degree video live streaming. Twitter-owned Periscope added the ability to stream live video from external cameras and broadcast production setups to Periscope and Twitter users last week. Currently, those live streams are limited to traditional, or “framed” video content. However, the company is already working on adding the ability to also stream from 360-degree cameras, and may add this feature in the coming months.

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