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This article was published on March 8, 2017

Facebook launches its first real VR app for 360 photos and videos

Facebook launches its first real VR app for 360 photos and videos

Facebook is today launching its first dedicated app for watching 360-degree videos, Facebook 360. It’s currently only available on the Samsung Gear VR, but it’s likely just the first of such apps to come.

To be clear, the app doesn’t let you browse your News Feed or do other regular Facebook activities; the emphasis is solely on video. Still, with “more than 25 million 360 photos” and “more than 1 million 360 videos,” you should have plenty to do.

It’s split up into four sections:

  • Explore lets you check out interesting and popular content from throughout the social network
  • Following features videos from your friends and pages you follow
  • Saved collects the content you’ve, well, saved
  • Timeline is the space for your own 360 uploads

You have the option to Like/react to the videos, as well as save or share.

That said, it’s not clear yet whether you can watch standard, non-360 video with the app. It seems like an unnecessary inconvenience to have to remove your VR headset and open up the traditional Facebook app just to watch other video’s you’ve saved. We’ve contacted Facebook for clarification here.

It’s also worth noting that you could already watch 360 video GearVR through the Oculus Video app, but Facebook 360 appears to provide a more organized solution to video discovery. It also puts Facebook video front and center, instead of being mashed up with content from other services.

It’s just the latest move in Facebook’s relentless march towards becoming your main source for video. The company recently announced dedicated video apps for streaming devices like Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV, and is now even auto-playing videos on your phones with sound.

To download it, just open the Oculus app on your Gear VR and search for Facebook 360.

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