With the rise in popularity of VR, 360-degree videos are becoming more and more mainstream. Last March, YouTube launched support of 360-degree videos, but the feature is more than just a novelty. Brands, especially, can start getting in on the ground floor of this technology for their own uses.
Not just a novelty
For those not too familiar with them, 360-degree videos let you look in any direction—not just where the camera is pointing. Essentially, you could see from the perspective of a race car driver or experience a show as if you were there.
You can view 360-degree videos on YouTube via a browser, using the mouse to look around. Or, from your Android device with the YouTube app. YouTube also has compatibility with Cardboard on Android. Cardboard is Google’s fold-out cardboard mount for a mobile phone used to provide virtual reality (VR) experience. With Cardboard, viewers can watch YouTube 360-degree videos in full-screen, giving a theatre-like experience. With the added VR, viewers feel as if they’ve been transported to a theatre and are watching a big screen. Facebook also rolled out support for 360-degree videos last year.
Opportunities are endless
There are myriad possibilities for brands to use the new immersive videos. Brands can create 360-degree videos themselves. They can share videos with potential consumers through YouTube. Using 360-degree videos gives brands the ability to reach consumers in a new and creative way. Such an innovative form of marketing might just provide brands a leg-up on competition and be able to break through the clutter to reach customers. Sharing these videos on YouTube gives brands access to YouTube’s vast user-base. Similarly, while Facebook hasn’t rolled out advertising for 360-degree videos, brands can share their immersive videos with customers via pages.
Easy to capture and create
Creating 360-degree videos doesn’t have to be for advertising. Companies can use it to showcase a product debut at a conference or an experience they offer. Realtors, for instance, could create 360-degree videos for potential homebuyers.
It is becoming easier to capture and create a 360-degree video. GoPro cameras has a special camera holder with video-stitching software. Other new 360-degree cameras include the Ricoh Theta and Kodak SP360. Grioptic, Bublcam, and Allie are also upcoming options.