Following the launch of its Live 360 video feature in March, Facebook is adding a host of accompanying updates today, including the Live 360 Ready Program — whereby select third-party cameras and software platforms vetted by Facebook will be able to be used to stream Live 360 video.
This serves to amp up video quality, Facebook said in a blog post, while letting users interact with friends and followers mid-stream. Some of the initial cameras that are part of the Ready Program include the Giroptic iO and Insta360 Nano, while software solutions include Assimilate Scratch VR and Groovy Gecko.
Facebook is also adding 4K resolution to Live 360 videos, and will soon let viewers consume Live 360 broadcasts in virtual reality — both as they’re happening and after they’ve completed. These videos will be able to be viewed within the free Facebook 360 app for the Samsung Gear VR headset. (YouTube, for its part, added 4K streaming to live 360-degree videos last November). And in addition to 4K, Facebook is adding two features that already exist across the site to Live 360 video: a donate button that lets Verified Pages raise funds for a U.S.-based non-profits, and pre-scheduled broadcasts, which serve notifications on News Feeds in order to drum up buzz.
Finally, Facebook will offer a stabilization tool for Live 360 broadcasts, which uses an algorithm to detect shaky streams and can steady the picture after a broadcast is complete.
To celebrate these changes, Facebook is partnering with Blend Media — a global network of 360 video creators — to host various streams this weekend using cameras that have been vetted for the Ready Program. Participating creators include: Adam Ravtech (Yas Island), Ideas Studio (Belarus), Al Caudullo (Thailand), and Whistle Productions (France).