YouTube has started supporting 360 degree video formats on its mobile and web platforms. The feature has been launched for desktop Chrome and Android apps and will reach iPhone, iPad and other mobile devices in the near future.
YouTube says it will support 360 video viewing on the YouTube website, Android app and in embedded videos on Chrome. On desktops, viewers will have to use their mouse to drag the video and see new angles. Mobile users will be able to tilt their device around to adjust the point of view, similar to an augmented reality experience.
Viewing the 360 degrees videos on Oculus or Google Cardboard lets you simply move your head, as if you were there. The internet giant is also tying up with Street View so that people can view geotagged 360-degree videos when browsing Google Maps.
Google says that it is working with a number of companies that create 360-degree video cameras to make creating the videos compatible with YouTube. The internet giant is also working on making 360-degree content work automatically, but for now uploaders will have to add special metadata to ensure it’s properly played back.
YouTube stated in a blog post, "You could let viewers see the stage and the crowd of your concert, the sky and the ground as you wingsuit glide, or you could even have a choose-your-own-adventure video where people see a different story depending on where they look. Only you know what’s possible".
YouTube also announced testing the multi-angle feature for videos last month with a recent performance of indie artist Madilyn Bailey at YouTube Music Night. The multiple views show up as thumbnails alongside the main video and disappear once it gets started.