YouTube just got way more dimensional. The world's most popular video site now supports 360-degree videos, allowing users to click through scenes — or just tilt a mobile device — to get a broader look at what's happening around the focal point.
YouTube recently added 360-degree video support to web and Android app versions of the site. If you're using a phone or tablet, you'll be able to move the device around to see alternative angles (like in the clip above). The web version works similarly to what's used for Google Maps — you can tap a series of arrows or drag with the mouse to see other views.
Imagine experiencing a full 360-degree view of that concert, without ever having to leave your house. YouTube wants that for you. The Google-owned video site has just added support for 360-degree video uploads, meaning people will now be able to upload their footage taken with a 360-degree camera, and you'll be able to watch it for free.
All you need is the existing YouTube app for Android, and then you can move your phone or tablet around to see all different angles as the 360-degree video plays. YouTube hasn't yet made the feature automatic, so content creators will need to use specific equipment and a special process to start uploading 360-degree videos, but eventually, everything will be streamlined.
Until that happens, we've explained everything you need to know below.
Here's an example of 360-degree video:
YouTube has highlighted a playlist to demonstrate its new feature (the first video is in 4K!):
Will YouTube ever allow iPhone users to view 360-degree videos?
Google is all about bringing the latest features to Android users first. That said, if you don't have an Android device, you can still watch 360-degree videos by going to YouTube.com on your computer or watching embedded videos in Chrome. Youtube 360º video feature doesn't work on a browser other than Chrome. In order to move around and see from all different angles while on a computer, simply drag your mouse. The YouTube team said it will soon add support for iPhones, iPads, and other devices too.
How can you shoot and upload 360-degree video?
First of all, you need a 360-degree camera to shoot 360-degree video. Here's a few cameras compatible with YouTube:
Any video shot with the above cameras will unfortunately need to go through a special upload process, but YouTube said it's working to make the process automatic, meaning the site's uploader will immediately detect and handle 360-degree video. Until then, you can use the Github page to find more technical information about the video format, along with a script you need to run on the video file to insert the correct metadata.
Want to know more?
If you’re around the YouTube Space L.A., our Creator Tech team is also hosting a technology showcase from now through April, where you can try out these new cameras and learn new techniques from our staff.
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