Facebook adds new tools for 360° video

Facebook 360° toolsFacebook has added new publishing and analytics tools to boost its 360° video offering along with a new analytics tool for Facebook Live and a raft of other video metrics tools.

For its 360° video offering – which has seen over a quarter of a million 360° clips uploaded to date – the social network has launched a tool enabling publishers to give a ‘guided tour’ of their clips. Publishers can highlight specific points of interest in the field of view during the video. Viewers will automatically be directed around the video as it plays, with interesting events and scenes being highlighted to ensure that they have the opportunity to view them.

The guide feature can be switched on by checking a box that says ‘Enable Guide’ on the 360 Controls tab. Publishers can then add points when their video is paused, which will be added to the guide.

Viewers can opt out of the guided tour by swiping out of the scene to view the 360° view on their own, and can tune back in by tapping an indicator on the right side of the video.

The guide is already being used by GoPro, the New York Times and ABC News, among others.

The other new – related – feature launched by Facebook for 360° video is Heatmap, a tool that enables publishers to understand which parts of the video that viewers find interesting. This highlights parts of the field of view that audiences have spent the most time watching, displayed as a visual map that highlights the ‘hottest’ parts of the video.

Heatmap is available for videos posted since May 1 that have reached over 50,000 unique views.

“For publishers who opt to use Guide, the insights you glean from Heatmap may help inform how you select your points of interest in Guide,” states Paul Beddoe-Stephens, partnerships lead at Facebook 360.

Facebook has also launched a raft of other video measurement tools. These include audience demographics, enabling publisers to analyse viewing minutes by age, gender, and top geographic locations. They will also be able to see how aggregate audiences engaged at specific points during a Live broadcast and see when they were moved to react to, comment on, or share the video.

Facebook has emphasised the importance of the ability to measure sharing, citing the fact that 48% of viewing time on the platform comes from shares.