The fact is, 360-degree video sucks for an awful lot of things. One of the use cases that kinda makes sense is in giving someone an honest look into your perspective at a given time. This is also an instrumental part of the pitch for Live, so it only makes sense that Facebook would seek to make more and more improvements to the Live 360 platform.
Earlier this month, Facebook brought Live broadcasting to its Spaces social VR app. Today, they’re firming up their Live 360 video pipelines with a camera certification program, 4K support, live playback on Gear VR and a few other enhancements to bring Live 360 some of the features professional publishers and creators may want.
Full 1080p is fine for spherical photos, but it’s actually a pretty low resolution for video when all those pixels are stretched over a 360-sphere. Today, Facebook is bringing 4K support to Live 360, and, along with it, support for viewing broadcasts in the Facebook 360 app on Gear VR.
There are a lot of shit 360 cams out on the market, and the best ones aren’t being sold by legacy camera companies like Canon or Nikon, so it’s often tough to pick one out. Facebook is working on certifying cameras and software suites that work best with going Live, called the Live 360 Ready Program.
The list includes the Garmin VIRB 360, Giroptic iO, Insta360 Nano, Insta360 Air, Insta360 Pro, ION360 U, Nokia Ozo Orah 4i, Z CAM S1 and 360fly 4K Pro. This list doesn’t seem to be exhaustive in terms of cameras that will support Live 360, just the ones Facebook likes best.
Though best practices would generally dictate doing a live broadcast with the camera fixed on a tripod, some of these options are mobile 360 cams that attach to phones. For some of these cameras, Facebook will be adding stabilization support for 360 broadcasts.
After your live stream ends, Facebook will determine whether it was suffering from shakiness and give you the option to stabilize the footage for subsequent viewers. In addition to stabilization, Facebook also will be adding heatmap and Guide support so creators will know when and where their live videos had the most viewer attention.
Other features getting added include fundraising buttons for nonprofits and Scheduled Live posts, which will give viewers a countdown to going Live, helping to drum up attention and enthusiasm.