Mar 10, 2017

Facebook's VR app has arrived

Facebook announced Wednesday the launch of its long-awaited virtual reality app, Facebook 360. This is the first time users can view 360-degree videos and photos posted on Facebook through a VR headset. For now, the content can only be viewed using Samsung Gear VR headsets, and the app will have four feeds:

  • Explore: Users can discover popular 360-degree content on Facebook from publishers, advertisers and individuals
  • Following: Users can view 360-degree content on Facebook from friends
  • Saved: Users can access saved 360-degree content from their newsfeeds
  • Timeline: Users can upload and post 360-degree content to theirs or friends timelines

Big distinction: 360-degree content (photo or video) is not the same as virtual reality content — the name has just stuck. Technically speaking, virtual reality content allows one to manipulate their environment, like a video game. 360-degree content, which is what is available in this app, allows users to view a photo or video from every angle.

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

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The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.