Facebook has launched its first dedicated VR app.
Called Facebook 360, the app is for the Samsung Gear VR headset, which is powered by Oculus, and allows users to explore Facebook 360 photos and videos.
The social network has seen a rapidly growing number of users posting 360-degree content – more than 25 million 360 photos and more than 1 million 360 videos, to be more specific. Support for the immersive format is part of Facebook’s push to position itself as a media hub, as well as a social platform. Indeed, Facebook recently launched a new video app as well, designed for people to stream video from other users on their living room TVs.
To download the Facebook 360 app for Gear VR, open the Oculus app on a Gear VR-compatible Samsung device and search for Facebook 360, or visit the Oculus site to get started. When watching a video or photo, users can pull up more information about the photo or video or react to, save and share it.
At launch, the app features four feeds: Explore, which lets users discover some of the most interesting and popular 360 content on Facebook from media companies, organizations and individual creators; Following, which highlights 360 content that friends have posted on Facebook as well as 360 content from Pages and people they follow; Timeline, which showcases a user’s own 360 uploads; and an area for any Saved content.
“We look forward to seeing how people use the app to connect with the people and things they care about, and we’ll continue to improve the experience and hope to bring it to more platforms over time,” said Brent Ayrey, Facebook Product Director, and Christopher Wong, a Software Engineer, in a blog post announcing the app.