It’s been a few months now since Facebook rolled out 360 live streaming to pretty much anyone with a camera capable of supporting it. Today, the company is revealing some enhancements to the program.
Firstly, the social networking giant is announcing its Live 360 Ready Program which, as the name suggests, is similar to the Oculus Ready PC Program. It’s essentially an array of 360 cameras vetted by Facebook itself for Live 360. Right now it includes 10 cameras including the Garmin VIRB 360, Giroptic iO, Insta360 Nano, Insta360 Air, Insta360 Pro, ION360 U, Nokia Ozo Orah 4i, Z CAM S1, and 360fly 4K Pro. It also supports 7 software suites like Assimilate SCRATCH VR, Groovy Gecko, Livescale 360, Teradek, Voysys, Wowza, and Z CAM WonderLive.
These products will have a Facebook Live logo on their packaging or website to help you identify if they’re primed for 360 live streaming on the platform. You’ll be able to use their apps to interact with those watching your streams too.
Perhaps more importantly, Facebook is also launching 4K support for live streaming. You might need a stronger connection to actually watch content in this kind of quality live, but it’s an important stepping stone for the future of the platform. Live streaming is also finally being added to Gear VR via the Facebook 360 app, so you can watch as if you were really there.
Elsewhere, the service is catching up with other features commonly included on live streaming platforms, including Facebook’s regular service. That means a donate button allowing viewers to support US nonprofits for verified streamers and creators will also be able to schedule streams to go live and alert viewers to the time. Facebook has also added stabilization to reduce possible camera shake, a guide tool that will highlight important parts of archived broadcasts, and a heatmap so people can see wherever viewers are looking most.
If you want a look at Facebook’s 360 streaming, then the company is organizing a Live weekend from July 28th – 30th in partnership with Blend Media.
Update: A previous version of this article stated that the donate button would allow viewers to support streamers. This isn’t correct; it allows them to support US nonprofits from verified accounts. Apologies for the confusion.