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Publishers Went Live in 360 Degrees to Cover Inauguration Weekend

By Chetan Gupta, Product Manager, Beth Loyd, News Partnerships & Caitlin Ramrakha, Product Marketing Manager

On Inauguration Day and throughout the weekend following, many people across the U.S. and the world turned to Facebook to share and participate in the surrounding events. On Friday, January 20, 60 million people on Facebook generated 208 million likes, posts, comments and shares related to the presidential inauguration. Saturday marked the biggest day for 360 photos yet, with people uploading panoramic images of scenes from the Women’s March across the country.

We also saw media and journalists communicate the historic moments with audiences around the world in new and innovative ways on Facebook. In December we introduced Live 360 — a new way to go live on Facebook that transports viewers into a scene in 360 degrees, right as it happens. Over the weekend, Fox News, NBC News, RYOT and USA TODAY used Live 360 to immerse viewers in the presidential inauguration and the events that followed. Each outlet covered different aspects of the weekend — from the swearing-in ceremony, parade and inaugural ball on Friday — as well as the Women’s March on Saturday.

Check out some of the weekend’s highlights as told through Live 360.

Swearing-In Ceremony and Inaugural Address

USA Today, NBC News and Fox News went live in 360 degrees for more than two hours to cover the official inauguration of President Trump. Skip to 47:00 in USA Today’s video below to see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, followed immediately by President Trump’s speech. At 1:32:00, the stream changes angles and you can see Obama’s farewell as he enters Marine Force One.

“Our live coverage of Inauguration activities combined unique 360-degree views with a 2D close-up, allowing our audience to experience the historic event like never before. We are proud to have been one of a select few media outlets providing this unprecedented 360-degree livestream on Facebook.” — Robert Padavick Director, VR / 360-degree video, USA Today Network

Inaugural Ball

Fox News broadcast the Inaugural Ball live in 360 degrees from Sean Hannity’s set, located just across from the main stage.

“Going live in 360 at the Freedom Ball offered a unique perspective on this historic night. It brought our viewers up onto the stage with our Fox News hosts, and enabled us to share the moment with them in an unprecedented way.”— Jason Ehrich SVP, Audience Development and Partnerships, Fox News/Fox Business

Women’s March

On Saturday, NBC News and RYOT covered the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. NBC News streamed the day’s guest speakers and concerts, while RYOT’s broadcast featured two hosts who described the scene and interviewed March participants.


“Short of being there, Live 360 is the closest we can get to achieving a real sense of presence. If I’d had Live 360 capabilities 24 hours earlier than we did, during the clashes on Inauguration Day, undoubtedly viewers would have flinched and ducked, heart pounding as fight or flight instincts kicked in, the way I did when concussion grenades were thrown into the streets by riot police, mere feet away from us.” — Molly Swenson, Chief Marketing Officer, RYOT


NBC News

“With our Live 360 Video broadcasts throughout inauguration weekend, including Inauguration at the Capitol, the scene from the parade and from the edge of the stage at the Women’s March in Washington, NBC News was able to offer hours of a unique viewing experience that puts the viewer in charge. At the March, by offering the livestream in this format, viewers were able to see activists, celebrities, musicians and hundreds of thousands of other demonstrators from the vantage point of their choosing.” — John Makely, Sr. Producer, NBC News