CNN is making a grand entrance into the immersive medium of VR with a new effort called CNNVR. Trump’s favorite news source is launching the VR unit to “transport users to the front row of global events.”
The company is launching the VR unit with a feature highlighting the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. CNN has already worked on nearly 50 pieces of 360-degree content, so the main news is that there is now a more centralized home for viewing the content and a more formalized internal structure for producing it.
The big change for users is that 360-degree videos will now be natively viewable in CNN’s iOS and Android app, making the app the third largest VR-capable mobile app according to the company, behind YouTube and Facebook. In addition to being viewable on smartphones, the media company’s videos will also be accessible on select VR headsets, including the Samsung Gear VR, Google Daydream and Oculus Rift. Desktop users will also be able to check out the content on their 360-compatible browser.
The company plans to highlight live-streamed VR content as well as produced regular VR programming.
Many have heralded VR as a particularly apt medium for capturing perspectives and fostering empathy for emotional situations unfolding across the globe. It certainly doesn’t work for everything, but few mediums can capture the hell of war or the chaos of riots as well as 360 footage can.