×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Facebook Launches 360-Degree Videos with ‘Star Wars,’ ‘SNL,’ Vice and More

Facebook — keeping pace with Google’s YouTube — has launched panoramic 360-degree videos, with initial partners taking advantage of the feature including Disney’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” GoPro, NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” and Vice Media.

Disney and Lucasfilm on Wednesday debuted an exclusive 360-degree video clip from the forthcoming “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” slated to hit U.S. theaters Dec. 18, on the “Star Wars” Facebook page. The video lets the viewer zoom over the surface of desert planet Jakku, exploring every angle from the cruiser while in flight.

The 360-video feature lets Facebook users choose the angle to watch it from. On a PC, that’s controlled by dragging the video around with the mouse cursor; on mobile devices, users drag a finger across the screen or rotate the device. “You’ll be able to hold up your phone and the 360 video will follow you as you turn, looking around, to experience things from all over the world like never before,” the company said in a blog post.

In addition to Disney’s “Star Wars,” Facebook media partners sharing new 360-degree videos at launch include DiscoveryGoProLeBron James’ Uninterrupted, launched earlier this year with Turner’s Bleacher Report; “SNL“; and Vice. The social giant foresees expanding the feature to all user-shared video, although today capturing 360-degree video requires a specialized camera array.

LeBron James’ 360-degree video on Facebook shows the Cleveland Cavaliers star practicing his shooting and slam-dunks on an empty court. The clip is part of Uninterrupted’s “LeBron James Striving for Greatness,” produced by Felix & Paul Studios, a virtual-reality experience that will be released as a series of five episodes on Facebook and also as a standalone VR experience for distribution on the Oculus platform in mid-November.

YouTube, the Internet’s No. 1 video destination, introduced support 360-degree videos this past March. Most recently, Google teamed with NBC on a 360-degree video promoting this week’s premiere of “Heroes Reborn,” featuring YouTube star Zach King.

Facebook’s 360-degree videos currently work on the web and on Android devices; the company said it anticipates rolling out support for Apple iOS in the coming months.

The new feature is part of an aggressive push by Facebook to expand its video footprint. While it’s been gaining on YouTube, Facebook still trails in being able to identify copyrighted content uploaded to the service and sharing ad revenue with creators — both areas Facebook is currently testing at the behest of big content partners.

More Digital

  • The Netflix logo is displayed at

    Netflix in Advanced Talks to Join Motion Picture Association of America

    WASHINGTON — Netflix is in advanced talks to join the Motion Picture Association of America, a move that would reflect its evolution as a major player in the movie business. The MPAA currently has six major studios as members, each paying annual dues between $15 million to $20 million per year. But it faces the [...]

  • The Expanse

    Amazon Launching 'The Expanse' Seasons 1-3 Worldwide Ahead of Season 4 Premiere

    Amazon has acquired worldwide subscription-streaming rights to the first three seasons of “The Expanse,” the space thriller that originally aired on Syfy, leading up to Prime Video’s debut of season 4 later in 2019. Seasons 1-2 of “The Expanse” are currently available in the U.S. on Prime Video. All three seasons, comprising 36 episodes in [...]

  • Beta Sells Alex Pina’s Movistar +

    Beta Film Rolls Out Alex Pina, Esther Martinez Lobato’s ‘The Pier’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MIAMI  — Clinching more deals on one of Mipcom’s highest-profile premieres, Beta Film has closed early major territory sales on Movistar + Original “El Embarcadero” (“The Pier”), Alex Pina and Esther Martínez-Lobato’s follow-up to Netflix phenomenon “La casa de papel” (“Money Heist”), identified by the streaming giant in its first-quarter results last April as its [...]

  • Oscar OScars Placeholder

    How to Watch Oscar Nominations Live Online

    The 91st Academy Awards may be hostless, but its nominations will be led by Kumail Nanjiani of “The Big Short” and Tracee Ellis Ross from ABC’s “Black-ish.” The two actors will announce the nominees live beginning at 5:20 a.m. PT/8:20 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Jan 22. All 24 Oscar categories will be announced in a [...]

  • Google Fined $57 Million in France

    Google Fined $57 Million in France for Breach of Data Protection Rules

    Google has been fined €50 million ($57 million) in France by data regulator CNIL for breaching the European Union’s data protection rules. The CNIL said in a statement that Google had not sufficiently informed its users about the exploitation of their personnal data. “We’re not denying that Google informs users who open an account…but the [...]

  • BURBANK, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 18: (EDITORIAL

    Dax Shepard, Bobby Bones, 'Breakfast Club' Among iHeartRadio Podcast Awards Winners

    iHeartRadio launched its first ever Podcast Awards on Friday (January 18) in Los Angeles. Among the winners in 22 categories were “Whine Down with Jana Kramer” (Best Entertainment TV Podcast); “Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard (Breakout Podcast); “Bobbycast” (Music Podcast); and “The Breakfast Club” (Best Multicultural Podcast). The winners were determined by iHeartRadio listeners. Taking the top prize of Podcast [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content