Facebook debuts web-based VR news feed content

Facebook has launched a new feature that will allow people to access VR experiences through their normal news feeds.

Promotional experiences for the forthcoming Jumanji film and the British Museum were among the first to be posted.

The announcement follows on from the April 2017 release of React VR, a library and JavaScript framework for developers to help them build multi-channel VR experiences. React VR was used to build the initial experiences that appeared in user news feeds under the category of ‘360 experiences’.  

The experiences can be viewed through a desktop or a mobile browser that supports WebVR. Support for WebVR on Facebook is currently limited to certain brands and developers.

The rollout of 360 experiences made with React VR and integrated into the news feed is still in the testing phase, although the release of a number of 360 experiences would suggest that we may not be that far away.

Spreading awareness

In a blog post on the Oculus website, the company said:

“Our work in React VR is one more way we’re making it easier for more developers to create VR content and lay the groundwork for immersive web experiences in—and outside of—VR. Today, we’re highlighting some of the engaging experiences we’ve seen that connect brands and organizations from across industries with their fans online, on the go, and in VR.”

By bringing VR experiences right into the heart of its traditional site and apps, Facebook is hoping to expose more causal consumers to the medium and eventually bring then on board fully as consumers of Oculus hardware.

With the launch of the $199 Oculus Go in 2018, making more people aware of the potential of VR could prove to be a profitable move for the company.

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