360-degree video, virtual reality coming to Facebook

At the Facebook F8 developer conference in San Francisco Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg demo'd how his company will use immersive 360-degree video and virtual reality to enhance your News Feed.

In his keynote address, Zuckerberg traced the evolution of sharing -- from simple text, to pictures, to videos -- and gave developers and live-streamers a glimpse of where Facebook is going next: immersive videos, augmented reality and virtual reality.

Facebook users watch 3 billion videos per day in their News Feeds. As the content we share becomes increasingly sophisticated, "we need to build tools to let people share it," Zuckerberg said.

To that end, he announced that sometime soon News Feed will support "spherical videos," which are created with a suite of two dozen cameras and allow viewers to mouse around within a 3D environment as the footage rolls. YouTube began supporting these immersive videos earlier this month.

Zuckerberg also looked out a few years from now, when augmented reality and virtual reality will be integrated into the social network. In February, Facebook chief product officer Chris Cox teased the idea that VR was coming, though not for a while, given that most people don't have VR headsets.

At F8 Wednesday and Thursday, visitors can try out technology currently in the works by stepping into a "teleportation station," and getting a remote view inside FB HQ.

The display helps shed some light on Facebook's $2 billion of virtual reality company Oculus a year ago and how the technology could be used for social sharing.

  • Amanda Schupak

    Amanda Schupak is the science and technology editor at CBSNews.com