Facebook has fully embraced video advertising with tools that help mesh them into News Feeds. Now, it’s ready to take things further with a set of 360-degree virtual reality ads, backed by partners like AT&T, Nestle, Mondelez and Samsung, and others.
Facebook unveiled the new format, providing virtual reality-based ads that show how easily the format can be embraced. This ties in with the company’s video creation tool, which debuted in September, enabling brands to post 360-degree clips to their page with an organic process.
Although previous clips only worked on computer screens and Android devices, these new 360-degree videos can be experienced using iOS devices and the Samsung Gear VR.
The move into virtual reality-friendly waters shouldn’t be a surprise, considering how Facebook poured $2 billion into its purchase of Oculus and its heavily hyped Rift technology. It also stated in the past that VR was likely to be used for more than just games, even though that remains a heavy focus with the tech.
Users can interact with these videos by looking around the screen with touch or gestures and seeing the world around them in real-time. It certainly represents a new level of interaction with ads that hasn’t been seen before, and is likely to get more attention than the typical static ads.
In addition to providing formatting tools for potential business partners, Facebook also launched a microsite that provides would-be video makers with a number of guidelines, FAQs and practice details in terms of helping them make the best one possible.
A couple of the samples include an AT&T clip from inside a race car, and a video supplied by Walt Disney that provides a “full experience” from its Disney World resort, along with short videos from Samsung and Nestle.
Videos that take advantage of the 360-degree format will be clearly earmarked, indicating that users can play around with them however they see fit.
How well the ad format will be received has yet to be seen, but it’s gaining big buzz so far, and could tie in with plans Facebook has for the Oculus technology. Considering that eight billion videos are viewed daily on the site, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see it more integrated with additional ads in the future.