Facebook Working on Stand-alone 360 Video App

Facebook-login.jpgFacebook is working on a stand-alone virtual reality app that would bring 360-degree spherical videos to mobile phones, enabling users to change their viewing perspective simply by tilting their smartphone.

As reported in the Wall Street Journal, development of the app is still in early stages, but it would work on iOS and Android. At its F8 developer conference in March, Facebook suggested that virtual reality would be one of its priorities in the future.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg has repeatedly stated that virtual reality will be the next computing platform following mobile devices, and Facebooks $2bn acquisition of Oculus suggests that the company is serious about their commitment to the format.

Zuckerberg has also suggested that Facebook is looking for a way to support spherical video formats in Facebooks news feed, hinting that the standalone app may either have additional functions, or eventually become part of Facebooks main app.

Oculus is expected to ship a consumer version of its Rift headset early next year, which will likely lead to a massive publicity boost for other virtual reality projects and renewed consumer interest in the format.

While a mobile app will no doubt be less immersive than a dedicated headset, it could serve to introduce the technology to a wider audience and encourage experimentation with the format.