Facebook expands 360 video to brands

With six brands testing video campaigns across several global markets, the social media platform looks to expand opportunities for immersive storytelling.
facebook 360

Facebook users are likely to see branded 360 video stories popping up in their news feed with the expansion of the company’s VR program.

Helping brands to use the technology for their campaigns, the new tool, currently in alpha phase, is being tested on the social media platform through campaigns for six brands across several markets.

The international brands include Samsung, Nestle for Nescafe, AbinBev for Corona, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts for Walt Disney World, AT&T and Mondelez for Ritz. The campaigns are targeting Facebook users in North America, Asia and Europe, as well as other markets, with plans to roll out to other brands in the future.

The VR executions come shortly after Facebook made it possible for publishers to share 360 video content in users’ news feed on its platform. Since September, publishers such as ABC News, BuzzFeed and Nickelodean, have been sharing 360 videos on Facebook.

Toronto and L.A.-based Secret Location,  a content studio for emerging platforms, can now take advantage of the nascent emergence of VR into the mainstream, as it is increasingly adopted by publishers looking to develop more engaging content experiences for their audience. In January Secret Location teamed up with U.S.-based prodco VRSE.works to collaborate on projects in the face of increased demand and interest in their product.

This month, the Associated Press launched a VR execution for a story that allows viewers to experience, almost firsthand, what life is like in Calais Camp, one of the largest migrant settlements in France. Earlier last month, the NYTimes ran its own VR story, Walking in New York in collaboration with VRSE.

With brands entering that space, Facebook wants to give marketers an opportunity to tell “deep and immersive stories through sight, sound and motion,” according to Carolyn Everson, VP global marketing solutions at Facebook in a statement.

Viewers can see the videos using their iOS devices or Android devices and also on the web. A timeline for expanding access to more brands is currently unknown.