Twitter announced this week that it now supports 360-degree video content. The feature has long been available on other social networks, such as Facebook. Even Snapchat recently introduced a unique spin on the content with its Spectacles glasses. Twitter’s implementation is a bit more conservative.
“Starting today, you can check out live, interactive 360 videos from interesting broadcasters and explore what’s happening with them,” Twitter explained. “You’ll be able to get an inside look with well-known personalities and go behind the scenes at exclusive events.” That means that, as you cruise through your Twitter feed, you may stumble across a 360-degree video that you can interact with. Tap it, and you’ll be able to look around, as if you’re right on the scene.
— Alex Pettitt (@Alexpettitt) December 28, 2016
360-degree video has gained in popularity as the cameras required to create it have fallen in price and become more popular among consumers. It’s most attractive for folks who own a VR headset, since that device allows them to step right into the scene that’s being filmed. Since Twitter doesn’t offer any sort of native VR client, the 360-degree video can only be viewed on 2D devices, like your laptop, tablet or smartphone. Maybe this paves the way for Twitter’s entrance into VR, though.
Unfortunately, Twitter blocks most of us from actually posting 360-degree video to the network. “Although everyone on Twitter and Periscope can watch live 360 videos, currently only select partners can go live in 360 via Periscope,” the company explained. I hope that’s just while the company tests the feature and that it eventually plans to open 360-degree videos to everyone, but Twitter doesn’t tend to move quickly on launching features users actually want.