GoPro takes you surfing in virtual reality with latest 360-degree video on Facebook

13 November 2015

In September, Facebook launched 360-degree video support, which is perfect for a virtual reality headset. GoPro was one of the first companies to jump on the opportunity, alongside the likes of Discovery, Vice, and Star Wars (yeah, you’ve probably seen that Star Wars video by now).

On Thursday, GoPro announced its third 360-degree video: surfing in virtual reality with Anthony Walsh and Matahi Drollet. The video release coincides with Facebook’s announcement on the same day that 360 video support is now rolling out to mobile devices (meaning it’s no longer limited to desktop).

GoPro’s first 360 video was of sand dune jumping with “freeride legend Ronnie Renner FMX,” followed by skiing in Chile, about a week later.

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“We think people will share a lot more 360 content in the future, especially as technology makes it easier to record it themselves,” Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a post announcing the mobile rollout. That announcement was accompanied by a 360-degree video by ABC News, shot in North Korea.

Last week, Facebook revealed that it was seeing more than 8 billion video views daily from 500 million users (up 100 percent since April). Brands are clearly keen to pour in time, money, and other resources to exploit the new marketing opportunity, by leveraging 360/VR videos on the world’s dominant social network.

“Viewers will not need a headset to access the new GoPro videos on Facebook,” the company said in a release. “People can discover these immersive 360 videos right in News Feed on web, iOS, and Android, where viewers can choose what angle they want to see it from.”

“On the web, the content can be explored by dragging the mouse around the video. On Android and iOS devices, viewers can drag their finger across the screen or turn the device on its side to navigate.”

Well, it’s definitely pretty neat. (Note: the video below doesn’t render in a mobile browser — though it does on desktop — so here’s the direct link to be opened up in the native Facebook app if you’re on mobile.)

- Venture Beat