×

YouTube VR App Launches on Gear VR, Gets Co-Viewing Feature

YouTube is bringing its virtual reality (VR) video app to Samsung’s Gear VR headset, a move that could potentially bring millions of new viewers to VR content hosted on YouTube. The video service also announced a new co-viewing feature for its VR app Wednesday.

The YouTube VR app is going live on the Oculus Store this week, where it will be available for free for Gear VR users. YouTube VR had already been available on Google’s Daydream View headset as well as HTC Vive and Playstation VR headsets.

Asked whether YouTube had any plans to bring YouTube VR to the Oculus Go next, a spokesperson didn’t have any details to share. “We want everyone with a VR headset to be able to experience YouTube VR, and we’re working to bring it to more VR platforms in the future,” she added.

YouTube also announced a new co-viewing mode for YouTube VR Wednesday. Users can enter public viewing parties with up to 4 viewers for each and every video on the service by clicking on a “watch together” icon. The co-viewing feature is coming to both Daydream View and Gear VR.

YouTube VR watch together
CREDIT: Courtesy of YouTube

The expansion of YouTube VR to Gear VR is significant for a few reasons: For one, Gear VR remains the most popular VR headset, with Samsung announcing in early 2017 that it had sold over 5 million units.

It’s also noteworthy that Gear VR is powered by Facebook’s Oculus software. Facebook and Google are directly competing on multiple fronts on VR and AR, and Google had in the past been slow to expand its VR titles to the Oculus platform.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Tiger King

    'Tiger King' Ranks as TV's Most Popular Show Right Now, According to Rotten Tomatoes

    Netflix has a tiger tale that has punched into the zeitgeist with “Tiger King,” stocked with a cast of real-life bizarre personalities and sinister plot twists. “Tiger Tale,” a true-crime-style docuseries that debuted March 20 on Netflix, ranks as the most popular current TV show, according to Rotten Tomatoes. It has a 97% critic’s rating [...]

  • Alex Jones

    Google Removes Infowars Android App From Online Store Over Coronavirus Misinformation

    Google on Friday removed the Android version of the Infowars app from the Google Play online store, after comments made by Infowars founder Alex Jones about the COVID-19 pandemic were deemed false and harmful. Google Play was that last major internet platform that provided an outlet for Infowars, which trades in right-wing conspiracy theories and [...]

  • Van Weezer

    Weezer Debuts Online Video Game as Throwback to Simpler Times -- And Album Promo

    Eight-bit diehards, get your thumbs ready: pop rock darlings Weezer have launched a nostalgia-heavy online side-scrolling action game, playable via web browsers.  The “The End of the Game” game has users playing as one of the band’s four members and jumping and shooting their way in a (surprisingly difficult) boss fight against an oversized, beanie-clad [...]

  • Google-Mountain-View-Calif

    Google Commits $800 Million, Mostly in Ad Credits, to Coronavirus Relief Efforts

    Google and parent Alphabet are pitching in to help small businesses, health organizations and governments dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The internet company has earmarked more than $800 million for coronavirus relief, about three-fourths of which ($610 million) is in the form of Google Ad credits to small and midsize businesses and governmental orgs, Alphabet [...]

  • Why Are Music Streams Down If

    Why Are Music Streams Down If Everyone's Stuck at Home? Experts Weigh in

    While it might seem counterintuitive that music streams would decline at a time when so many Americans were ordered to stay home, data-savvy label executives were neither startled nor concerned by the 7.6% drop in plays that happened in the March 13-19 tracking week. Simply put, they say it’s down to focus on news and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content