Facebook upped the resolution of 360-degree Facebook Live streams Tuesday, allowing users with compatible cameras to stream with up to 4K. Owners of Samsung’s Gear VR headset are also now able to watch these streams in 4K, which should make for a much better live video viewing experience.
Facebook’s launch of 4K streaming for 360 degree video follows a similar announcement by YouTube late last year. However, it’s clear that Facebook is trying to catch up quickly: The company released a guide for publishers Tuesday to help them to get started with Live 360 streaming.
Facebook also launched its own camera certification program, giving consumer electronics companies the option to market their cameras as “Live 360 Ready.” Some of the first cameras certified as Live 360 ready include the Giroptic IO and Insta 360 Air, as well as the ION 360U and Nokia’s Ozo camera. The company also certified a few software production solutions, including Wowza and Voysys, to work with Live 360 video.
Live 360-degree video streaming was initially the domain of smaller specialized streaming providers, but the medium has quickly been taken over by the big tech companies as they look to advance their live streaming efforts on all fronts. In addition to Facebook and YouTube, Twitter is also offering 360-degree live video streaming via Periscope.