Facebook is trying to make virtual reality accessible without using a geeky headset.
The social network is looking to add to its family of mobile apps with a new one focused on 360-degree videos that works by letting users navigate it by tilting their phones, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The top secret project is still in the “early stages” and a release date hasn’t been set. It sounds similar to Facebook’s “immersive experience” video ad units that brands including Gatorade and Michael Kors have been experimenting with that engulfs users in a 360-degree view.
Despite being a pared down version of a true VR experience, which requires people to strap on clunky goggles, a standalone app featuring the fledgling technology could introduce it to a massive audience and push it into the mainstream.
Chad Martin, the director of social and emerging media at marketing agency VML, told Digiday that the VR app could propel Facebook as an immediate “leader in the field.” He added that the format can provide a “cool way for consumers to experience a moment, location, situation or even a product.”
The news shows that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is very interested expanding into the format.
Last year, the company acquired Oculus VR for $2 billion with its first consumer headset expected to roll out in early 2016. Zuckerberg expressed further support in the format during July’s earnings call saying that “immersive 3D content is the obvious next thing after video.”
It’s also significant that, if it does materialize, the new product would be another mobile app only adding to its growing list that includes a revamped Messenger, celebrity-focused Mentions, news app Paper, Instagram and WhatsApp, just to name a few. A survey recently released from AppAnnie shows that Facebook has four apps in the top 10 list of global iOS downloads showing how dominant it is in the mobile app area.
Facebook has not yet returned Digiday’s request for comment about the VR app.
Digiday+ Research: The economy will hit the media and marketing industries this year, but differently
The economy will plague both the media and marketing industries in 2023, but the hit will be uneven between publishers and agencies.
Podcast ad buyers have yet to see a slowdown
Ad buyers have yet to see clients cut their podcast budgets – though the time of podcasts as the shiny new medium may be coming to an end.
The programmatic open marketplace is faltering, but publishers see a bright spot in private programmatic deals
Publishers are coming to terms with their open programmatic marketplace RPMs being 20-55% lower than they were this time last year, but the hope is that programmatic guaranteed deals will make up the deficit.
SponsoredHow Jounce Media and Teads are framing SPO’s role in driving business outcomes for brands
As supply chain concerns abound, marketers are increasingly focusing on the main motivators that drive efficiency in their operations, including financial considerations, supply chain transparency and, most recently, environmental concerns. Sustainability has not always been at the forefront of the digital video buying process for the ad industry, but brands like Teads are taking steps […]
Atlas Obscura wants to be profitable before raising funds in a tricky media market
Atlas Obscura wants to turn a profit this year before it raises another funding round, at a time when publishers are facing lower valuations and pickier investors as deal activity slows.
Marketers weigh the cons of working with Google Ad Manager amid Justice Department’s new lawsuit
When is it time to back away?