By: Paul Beddoe-Stephens, Partnerships Lead, Facebook 360
Since we started rolling out 360 videos in News Feed last September, more than 250,000 360 videos have been uploaded to Facebook. As more and more people immerse themselves in 360 video experiences, we want to help publishers and creators better engage their audiences and learn more about how they respond to their 360 videos.
Today we’re introducing two new tools for publishers sharing 360 video on Facebook:
- Guide, a new way to give your viewers a guided tour of your 360 video as it plays, so they can enjoy a lean-back experience and never miss a key moment.
- Heatmap, a visual insights tool that shows you which portions of a 360 video’s field of view your audience is spending the most time watching.
How Guide works
Guide lets you set the narrative for your 360 video by highlighting specific points of interest in the field of view over the course of your video. If you decide to use Guide, once you select these points, people who view your video will automatically be directed around the video as it plays, ensuring that they don’t miss the action—whether that’s a diver plunging into the water or a shark swimming up behind them.
To use Guide:
- When you upload your video to Facebook, check “This video was recorded in 360° format”
- Head to the new “360 Controls” tab
- Check the box that says “Enable Guide”
- Play through your video to identify the points of interest that you don’t want your followers to miss
- To add a point of interest, select “+ Add Point” when the video is paused, and that point of interest will be added to Guide
When people watch your video, Guide will be turned on by default—your video will automatically pan around to your points of interest as it plays. Viewers who prefer to not watch via Guide can simply pan or swipe out of the scene to explore the full 360-degree view on their own. If they’d like to return to the guided experience, tapping the heading indicator on the right side of the video (which will say “Auto” whenever Guide is turned on) will bring back the Guide.
You can explore how some publishers are already using Guide by checking out the experiences below:
- Join GoPro deep beneath the ocean as you swim with sharks
- With the New York Times, follow Usain Bolt’s 100m sprint as he breaks the world record
- Take a cruise of the New York harbor with ABC News and learn a little more about the city’s history
How Heatmap works
Heatmap is an insights tool that helps you understand which parts of your 360 video your audience finds most interesting. It shows you the specific portions of the field of view that audiences have spent the most time watching, displayed as a visual map that highlights the “hottest” parts of your video. This information is pulled from aggregate data of our view ports, measuring every time your viewer moves 30° within the scene. For publishers who opt to use Guide, the insights you glean from Heatmap may help inform how you select your points of interest in Guide.
Heatmap will be available for any video posted from May 1 that has more than 50,000 unique viewers. To see your Heatmap for a specific video, visit your Video Library under Publishing Tools, then click on the video you’d like to learn more about. You’ll find Heatmap under the Video Insights tab for that video.
We’re excited to see what kinds of 360 experiences you create with Guide and how you use Heatmap to inform and inspire the 360 videos you create and publish on Facebook. To learn more about publishing 360 video on Facebook, visit facebook360.fb.com/learn.